My Central Refrigerated Trucking School Diary

Topic 1467 | Page 1

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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Introduction

My name is Daniel and I started Company Sponsored schooling with Central Refrigerated in December 2012. This is my journal that I logged on our old forum. Restored for our new forum.

I have been looking forward to this for a very very long time and it is finally here! I start school today, in 3 hours. I quit my fulltime job for this, I gave up my apartment and most of my beloved possessions to make it financially work, I had to swallow my pride and move back in with my parents with my wife, and I had to give up my social life to save extra money and make the most use of my time to study. I will give it my best shot always! This is now my life I am working for!

Classroom Time

Day 1: Well I was gone for 12 hours today. Mentally rough day no doubt. The instructor was a bit ****y. He basically had the assumption that if we got our information from any other source that we should double check it because there is so many bad information going around. There was 6 total people in the classroom! I was by far the youngest and I was the only one with any knowledge about trucking and the only one with a permit. The instructor guaranteed me that whatever method I used, that his method is much more effective. Personally I prefer the High Road over being given a few pages of writing straight from the DMV tests with answers under them to study for 11 consecutive hours. All went well and I believe I am coming still by far ahead of the classmates. The ones I spoke to found out about the school a week ago and never considered trucking up to that point. There is a woman who is a medical assistant. Nice, clean, lots of makeup and fancy clothes - I question if she knows what she is applying to. I don't think this is for her lol but good luck to all of them! Today we studied logbook , did our own logbooks for the day, paperwork, security call, air brakes videos and lectures, combo videos and lectures, and we received three DMV tests for air brakes and combo today. Straight from DMV because I just took them and recognized them very well. Half the day I was frustrated with this sites CDL training program, it made the entire day a review - the entire day was boring and I hardly learned much. Everyone else was having fun meanwhile I was counting sheep because I knew the material being taught Smiley Also, we started at 7:00AM. Me and other guy arrived 20 minutes before 7. The other 4 were all late.

Day 2: Nothing but study and more study. Tomorrow is the permit test and everyone is stressed and on edge. Meanwhile im on cruise control. Day 3: Test day! We first head to clinic for drug test and physical. We lost one person because they failed the drug test. So now the class size is 6! The doctor told me I need to gain weight lol. After that we drove 20minutes to dmv, i simply got it printed. The others took the test for three hours. One person didnt pass any test ouch. But something tells me he will ace it on the 26th. Another person failed the Air Brakes. And everyone else passed with flying colors.

Yard Training

Day 4: Off. Day 5: Yard time!! It was extremely wet and muddy everywhere. This place is like in the middle of nowhere haha. We got a pre-trip inspection study guide paper and we were told to follow it. So we walk around for hours naming parts and doing a mini-inspection without the paper. Two groups of three. Ours is doing really good. We know everything that we need to point out but just do not memorize the names of all the parts yet. The instructor, who is a retired trucker with 2million safe miles took us in the truck three at a time and we simply drove in idle back and forth. When going forward we would practice stopping and getting a feel for the clutch. When backing we had to stay within cones and try to go straight. One person in our group was sweating so badly he was dripping sweat. I was definitely freaked out too but not sweating. I did great on smooth stops but when I needed to start moving from a stop I jerked it too much. It was soooo muddy inside it was hard to get a grip on the clutch pedal and brake. I did average on backing. Had a perfect back but I think I got lucky Smiley All of this was in idle speed, we never touched the accelerator. Then after that more pretrip inspection which also included 5 air brakes test we must memorize. So far, Central Refrigerated has been good. They are extremely confident in their ways. No doubt, their ways are good but as for the permit testing you simply get answers engraved in your head. They know the answer, I feel like I know the answer and the details. But hey, whatever gets me into a giant red truck by myself!!! I feel really nervous about getting in the truck though. I was disappointed in myself about how I did on the starting and I know I could do better at backing, I need to be more gentle and not over dramatize the steering.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Day 6 - Today we did thorough pretrip inspections, we also went inside one of the dead trucks and practiced double clutching. The gears work perfectly even though the thing wont even start. So we basically just simulated shifting gears from 1-5 then 1-10, obviously pushing clutch before neutral and before going into gear. We did it at a smooth pace, nothing fast. Instructor says that we should never clutch very fast, trucks are slow, dont worry - no car will push you out of the way. Yesterday I had 10 minutes behind the wheel in idle backing and going forward and stopping. Today, I had 1 hour of idle speed backing and forward with stopping. After each stop we would set parking brake and walk around the truck to see how we did. And best part!!!!!-- I was alone in the truck. No instructor! And it was awesome! He trusted me alone with it. I'm really liking our instructor! It seems that guy came straight from this site. He preaches constantly about being safe that first year and then your job opportunities are endless. He does things how Central requires him to do but he always gives us the trucking truth facts afterwards. He stays calm and reinforces his teachings. This guy has 22 years and over 2 million safe miles in his career. He did 7 years of truck driving overseas for the military. Good guy and we are blessed to have him as a driving instructor.

Day 7: Off. Day 8: Started with pretrips. Two people are still struggling with going up and down in first gear. Me and another guy excelled so the lady moved us on to Alley Docks. She walked me through it. Hard left, Hard right, Straight, Hard right (or something in that order). Well I tried learning from her and wow, I just couldnt get it in even backing forward to straighten out ten times. The other guy did it her way and couldn't either. So he just did it his way (using what he knows) and he got it in perfectly. So here I was, making 30 attempts and making a fool of myself each time meanwhile this guy comes and pulls a perfect his first try. I felt like crap haha. And I couldnt get it down! I was sooo angry and frustrated. I asked her for advice and told her that I simply dont get it. That same day we went for a long ride with a senior student driving. It looked wickedly intense! A different group came back and a car hit their tractor Huh The 4 wheeler slided along the side- leaving a paint mark on the gas tank, damaging a few areas near the catwalk and hitting the trailer wheels and I was told the car simply bounced back to the sidewalk after that. The car ran a red light. Day 9: Great day! We lost another person from the class so now its just 4. We did long and thorough pretrip inspections. The individual I was partnered with had so little knowledge of the pretrip inspection! He couldn't even name all the parts that we need to know yet. I helped him all I could. Later that day the instructor (drove otr for a year then local in L.A. for a long time) took us out and taught us the in-cab inspection. Then he took us for a 20 minute drive each. So here I am, only having driven in idle speeds now Im going to drive near people and big roads. I was nervous as well as excited. I hopped in the drivers seat and took a deep breathe. Overall, I think I did average. I hit my gears much better than I thought I would. The instructor told me I just need to work on smoother and faster shifts. He said when I went to neutral I played in the neutral instead of going straight to the next gear. I also stalled the truck because I needed to downshift but didnt deactivate the gear switch. He was right about what I needed to work on, now since I think back. We drove the 53' trailers. He later introduced us to parallel parking and I had it down pretty good actually. So far me and one other guy are FAR ahead of the class, but that only makes it harder hehe. The instructor also switched us from practicing on the 23' trailers to the 53' trailers. Wow huge difference. I cant just stick my head out of the window anymore, I am forced to use the mirror! So, as of right now, I feel like I have a good grasp on pretrip, alley dock needs lots of work, parallel needs work but good start, and I've driven a 53' on roads and now I am practicing on 53' trailers. I asked another instructor for advice and he explained it perfectly to me and I am getting it down a lot more. He said ignore what the lady said about the hard left hard right crap. He helped me out a ton and I am getting it, slowly. I have been through soo many frustrations I lost count. But its satisfying.

Day 9 Today was a fantastic day. Thunderstorm all morning so we stayed inside trucks. Like I previously mentioned, me and one other guy are far ahead of the dwindling class of 4. The instructor took me and the other guy out for a ride and she let us drive again. My partner went first and he did great just a few minor things. I did air brakes and screwed up my shifting once and had to restart the engine. But so did the other guy. In the end she told us that we are far ahead of the class and are doing excellent! She said we did amazing today and after just two short sessions of driving in no traffic streets we are going to be driving on real roads tomorrow. The weather didn't effect anything today besides the mirror looking distorted sometimes. We are now switching drivers on one truck and doing alley docks and parallel parking. For the rest of the day I simply practiced parallel parking and alley docks.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Day 10 Today in the morning me and another student who has never driven before, along with a "senior" student went driving. The senior student drove first and I don't know what but she honestly did the worst. She came back from Fontana because she couldn't pass her tests. At the end of her driving lesson she managed to complain why the engine is so loud and stalled us about 4 times, more than even the rookies- at the end, the instructor told us to learn from her. For the rest of the day we all joked around about that hah. We had a brand new driver and he did pretty good. He has a clutch car so he needs to break the habit of pushing it in all the way. The other student almost got us in an accident because she failed a shift before a turn and instead of completing the turn she stared at her gear handle. When it was my turn I definitely had some fun. I went to 8th gear frequently, drove how I wanted to basically because instructor didn't give directions. One thing about todays run that I hated was that she wanted us to start in second gear when ever we come to a dead stop, now- thats some serious gear shifting I have to do as soon as I accelerate. And we cant skip gears. Pain in the ass.. So once I failed to bring it to #4 so the tractor and trailer went to a dead stop so I had to reset. Kind of embarrassed me but overall I think I did good. For the rest of the day I practiced alley docks on our 53'. I even taught another student alley docking with the 53'. She almost hit the fence, I swear that lady never looks in her mirrors- she stared at the gear handle all the time. Im acing the alley docks! This is the second day we cannot do a proper parallel park because the yard is all dirt and everything is a puddle of mud! No tractor and the trailer does not behave like it should. We always get a super long, awkward parallel park. So far me and the other guy are killin it! With another person doing good but too many absences caused him to be behind. The lady who stares at the gear handle is completely lost and we all think she's done soon. We are a small group and try to help eachother. Hopefully the rest of the 8 days will be smooth sailing! A little off topic, a student came back from Fontana today (different class). This guy is 23, just bought a brand new 2013 Buick for 44 grand and he told us he also bought a brand new 2013 Cascadia. Hes going to work for Central as an O/O. Meanwhile he keeps bragging how hes going to make 100k a year. Thank the Lord the rest of the class is knowledgeable and knows just how stupid being an O/O is. No OTR Experience and he just got his license. Today was my first time driving on populated streets! No more abandoned roads. Thank you everyone for reading and for your time and for the encouragement in my dream of becoming a trucker. -Sincerely, a future Central Refrigerated *Company* Driver

Day 11 - Giant storm so we couldn't drive. So we basically did skills all day long. Boring day! Day 12 - The storm still persists. No driving. Instead we did skills and a bit of pretrip inspection. I got the alley dock aced. But the parallel needs clarification. Luckily, we had a new instructor come in today. This guy used to be a OTR and all he does now is back vehicles (even airplanes) for a company. This guy was amazing, he knew more than we've ever had. He corrected my parallel parking and told me what I did wrong. I now ace it usually. I did it 7 times in a row and got it in nicely except once I was inches over. Sweet!!! Day 13 - Off. Wow wild day. Talk about days that break you down and make you feel like crap! Tomorrow is our official TDAtrucking (school name) pretrip inspection test. The results of this test impact if we are ready for Fontana and whether or not we will be going there. if we dont so amazing we must stay another week. sucks because one student is still using her paper.. The storm has passed and we are in great weather right now so it's road day! First trip lasted three hours and I was last to drive. Unfortunately we ran out of time so my driving had to wait until after lunch. After lunch I uncoupled the tractor and coupled to the short trailer since we had rookies on board. I was first to drive and I drove for one hour. I went on two different freeways, tons of populated streets and a whole lot of struggles! I started of very poorly so some reason, oh well. Then after getting a grip I was entering the freeway, as I was traveling there was a man who was walking on the sidewalk of the on ramp and looked like he might want to cross. I saw this and was caution (it's my career on the line). I slowed down tremendously just in case I needed to brake quickly. Rest assured this man just walked and stepped straight on the road without looking, if I didn't go slow he would have been hit hard. A line of cars were behind me while this was taking place but is quickly got shrugged off my shoulders. Wow, fatal accident dodged! After that, I was traveling with the other lane ending and a car comes like a jet and passes me and barely dodging the wooden signs. He came going at least 70 I hardly saw him passing!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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I do good the entire time and then something bites all of us that we weren't taught. What do we do when stopped on a hill? Well, I don't know! And... I had to stop on a steep hill for a light, yay. Like I said we weren't told anything and instructor didn't say a word to me. So I did what I thought which was wrong. We started rolling back rapidly! My instincts kicked in and I immediately pushed on the brake which lead to the tractor acting like a roller coaster. It shook like an earthquake! I mean badly! We rolled back about two feet and if there was an inexperienced driver behind me i bet i would have tapped him. One persons neck got kind of hurt and another person got a headache. Oh Lord what have I done?! I get a good lecture on how to handle that and the instructor says that it was good that it had happened because now we will learn from it. Overall he said I did good and I 75% "get it". I guess I'm happy about that Sad Even though im excelling, today was the first day I felt like I didn't belong. The good news is that there is only 4 more days of school left and I leave to Fontana in 6 days!

The rest of the 6 days went very well. I got a chance to mountain drive and did good enough. The instructor warns us though that mountain driving is a lot more dangerous when the trailer isn't empty. I passed my Pretrip Inspection exam and didnt miss any. Me and the only remaining student teamed up and made it into a song. We sung it well on our exam and neither of us missed any.

So I finally graduated the Central Refrigerated Schooling today! There were many, many ups and downs and the class started at 7 and only two graduated. I made mistakes, especially with starting on inclines, but my last few days I redeemed myself! I made many friends! I leave for Fontana to take my CDL test on 12/9/12 at 8:40AM. Tonight is the last night with family and I am trying to spend it the best I can. I've gotten mountain driving in on about 8% grades going up and down with no engine brake. As well city driving in. My official test is this Thursday. I feel confident, when I had my official school Pre-trip Inspection test I only got 3 wrong out of 19 possible and I feel confident in my skills tests, however I am a bit nervous about the driving. I still need to improve on a few things before thursday. Thank you all for the encouragement. Its time to get busy!!

On graduation day, we simply took a picture and the DOT Physical. Nothing complicated. We are bound for Fontana!

We took a company paid Greyhound bus from Sacramento to Fontana. Not too long of a trip. I did miss my wife very much. It all just hit me so hard. I was doing school but at the end of the day I came home to her. Now all of a sudden I'm not able to see her for a month! Its overwhelming.

We stayed in a EconoLodge. Not a bad place. They had a crappy breakfast and thats all that was provided but there were many stores nearby. We will practice in the Fontana yard for a few days and then we take the CDL Driving Exam. I'm confident about everything except the downshifting. I just cant get it down!

CDL Exam tomorrow! I am struggling with downshifting like theres no tomorrow. Its really making me a wreck. I frustrated my instructor today with it. I just cant get it down. I'm going to think about it tonight. I didnt come here to fail and this wont stop me!

I took my driving test today and passed!!! Missed 11 points and obviously no critical errors. I start Saturday for Central Refrigerated!I suffered 12 hours on a cramped bus to Fontana, CA. We made a stop in L.A. and then we got dropped off at San Bernardino. We then had a shuttle scheduled to pick us up as soon as we landed in San Bernardino and drive us to the hotel we will be staying at. While we were waiting for the shuttle we had someone attempt to rob me and my partner. This guy came out of no where and he started telling us that we needed to call the shuttle at their personal phone number to tell him where we are. Me and my partner figured out afterwards that they would have called in a different van and since this is a super ghetto area at night they would rob us for sure. No God we didn't go for it haha. My partner is a mean looking 6'8" 400lbs giant I dont know how they would have robbed him. Especially considering that they were complete druggies. Anyways we are here. Yesterday me and my partner did skills and pretrip. On pretrip me and him passed, we got 0 wrong out of a possible 19 that we are allowed wrong on the entire test. Aced! We also did skills testing. We passed that too. I was a hair from failing alley dock. Im used to slippery mud and a 1990s freightliner and all of a sudden I needed to drive a decent Volvo in a new area on our first day. Kind of overwhelming. I went inside but almost hit a cone so I pulled forward and then lost sight of the cones! Long story short, I had to back it in using my blind side mirror! Parallel parking went well and later we drove. We did pretty well I just have to work on small things. Feels good to be licensed!

On the driving test I lost my gear once but I instantly brought it back to the gear I took it out of. The instructor didnt allow us to downshift on the interstate just in case we would stall. So he had me get off a ramp in the highest gear. Needless to say I took the turn going too fast. He just talked about it for a second and not much of a big deal. Tomorrow is Orientation time and then we get trainers!!!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Orientation sucked. They tried to convince us all to lease and made it the greatest thing ever. Kinda annoying. All of us got assigned trainers. One our group of 3 leaves tonight. My partner leaves tomorrow. And I leave in 2 days.

a few days later..

My group is long gone. They are in different states even. I'm still stuck in this hotel waiting for my trainer. He was coming from Oregon and had to deliver a load 50 miles from my location due today at noon. He got there and a few hours later I called to ask him when he wants me to meet him at the terminal. Bad news, he has run out of hours. So I must wait another day. I'll be three days behind on my class. He is only 46 miles away from me, bummer. He is picking me up tomorrow morning at 6am and we head to Stockton to pick up a load and then taking it to Texas. I have limited internet. No movies, limited money - basically living off of 2$ 6" subway sandwiches. And nothing to do. This is terrific practice on being lonely and bored hehe. Thats my update! Most importantly, I'm trying to maintain a professional attitude. Its not his fault. Patience!

Off with a Trainer

so hard to find time to post on here when you're out on the road with a trainer! Anyways, I am one week in and have three more to go. Its been a wild adventure and learning curve. I've made mistakes and been beyond frustrated countless times. I'm having a bit of trainer problems, he gets very angry very easily. When he is angry he yells at cusses at me, which definately does not help me learn. Sometimes he doesnt understand that I'm still a rookie and I WILL make mistakes. He sleeps 95% of the time that I am driving which makes it increadingly difficult to not mess up. Once there was no off-ramp and I could not wake him up (hes a very hard sleeper) so I took the exit the gps said to take. The gps was correct, but he hates the thing - he will not listen to it nor will he ever admit it is sometimes right. Well I listened to the gps and he woke up and he absolutely flipped out. Even though we were only a mile away from our destination, he said the gps was wrong so I followed where he said to go - and we ended up stuck in Wausau, WI in downtown. An officer pulled me over for being on a no-truck area, thankfully he was kind and escorted us to our destination, which by the way was one mile away from the exit the gps told me to take. Gps was correct. He was still furious and was ****ed at me. I let him know that I am frustrated with him and I'm thinking about just getting someone else - ever since then he has been good. But to be honest I think I might actually do better without him, when hes in the truck not sleeping I'm constantly fearing of doing something wrong and getting yelled at. Never calm with him. Just trying to survive. The wife has been absolutely amazing in all of this. I thank God every day that he gave me such a strong and beautiful wife to call mine. But overall I'm learning a lot. I've already been through about 16 states in a week. Running good miles! I'm aware that I can easily switch trainers but I have a feeling it would be best to stick this one out. My trainer is an o/o who has been trucking for two years, he says I'm very good and Ill be a good trucker. I cannot wait to be making a real paycheck lol. So far Central has been good to me. It is upsetting how all the four students I am in touch (all of us are same phase in training) got to go home for Christmas except me. I've had to stop driving because it was too dangerous in PA, I've drove through a dangerous sand storm in Texas, the visibility was about 5 of the yellow center road lines. Currently in South Carolina getting loaded. Then off to the South again! Overall, I am enjoying it. But I am absolutely hating being with a trainer. I'm just trying to be as nice as possible and calm as possible, this is for only three weeks.

My trainer is still a pain in the ass sometimes but its going much better. He admit he has an extremely short temper and I knew it all along hehe! I finally got some hometime, everyone else in my class (3) have all been home for a week for Christmas except me. Had to kiss some major ass for it. I have 65 more driving hours left for training which I'm in no hurry to achieve. That last weeks paycheck is 450$ and I really would want to stay the last week for it since with that money I can buy all the items I need for myself. But I'm on pace to finish in 4 1/2 weeks, hopefully that time extends to 5 weeks! My trainer still gets ****ed at me for the stupidest reasons ever. We were on the road on December 31st and at night he was done driving so he bought two super tall cans of Budweiser at a truck stop for himself. He drove 13 hours later, also company policy - no alcohol in the truck.

One week left before I'll be driving home! I have 165 hours right now and I need 45 more Smiley Super excited! My trainer is better, he said that he will try to get my on Central West Coast Kraft dedicated. I'll start at 34cpm and run only like 10 states. Everything is almost done yay!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Promoted to Solo Driver

Hello TT! I am done with my second week of solo! I have been so crazy busy and its hard to get online. I came on this site not knowing anything about trucking, I studied for months and months, and now I am finally a solo driver! To the people wanting to get into trucking, I just want to say that you will go through trials and tribulations constantly that you have never thought you would have to go through, but keep at it! My trainer was a pain. He told me many times that I wouldn't make it and I am not a real trucker. He took a crap inside his truck in a bag. He used his **** bottle in his truck with me inside it. He was awful. But I got through that. So far, I am on my 9th load. I am getting amazing miles. Between 2.3-3k miles each week. I don't know if its really the "slow" season, I am busy as can be. A couple days ago I had 3 loads lined up on me. The longest I waited on a load was about 5 minutes. My dispatcher is good. I mean, hes not amazing, but hes good. He answers my questions over the Qualcomm and all, but he has small problems. I act very proffessional with him though. He told me I couldnt go home after my upgrade because I never sent in a notice even though about 100 employees told me that every driver goes home after first load. But I am going home now since my notice came through. My trainer taught me bad, I didn't know how to get the confirmation number and a walmart distribution center needed the confirmation number. I messaged my dispatcher for the number and it took two hours for him to get it, so I was late for the load (even though I arrived early) and we got charged 138$. So I now have one late delivery because of that. Its my fault for not knowing, but I am/was also frustrated at my dispatcher for taking two hours to get one number. I recieved a Black 2012 Freightliner Cascadia. Great truck, very friendly to the driver! Only 160k miles on it. Besides the walmart distribution center, I have never been late on a load. But that was the good news. Now the struggles... Some days, Its been just so chaotic! This job isnt easy, and on a "bad" day the day is absolute heck. A couple days ago, I had to make a U-turn in a tight lot and I went to much at an angle and the trailer hit the side wind panels on my truck and almost ripped them off. I'll be home soon and I can fix it easily, no problem and its a very small deal. And yesterday I got a ticket for not fully stopping at a stop sign, it was late at night. Fatigue, darkness, not good. I don;t know how I missed it and I am still ****ed at myself. Besides those two things everything has been wonderful. I am very happy with Central Refrigerated! I couldn't be happier. I went through one of their bad apples and now I am alone, I break or make myself. I am loving it. The last 4 loads I have been at maximum capacity, yesterday a beer load at 44k. Everyone, please make sure before you get out of training that you 120% understand how to shift the weight from each axle. Yesterday I spent hours at the Budweisher Plant in Colorado balancing the weight, the tandems not sliding and being stuck didn't help. I am very fortunate, my wife wants to be a truck driver with me. She is traveling with me right now. She isn't 21 year so for now she will ride and learn for now and then go to school and then we drive together. She almost cried today because we were picking up meat at a cow slaughter house. So far so good!!!

Here I am. 9 months later! Still driving and loving it. If you somehow managed to read through all of that I just want you to know that if you're going to be starting out. Remember that its a tough challenge. The training isnt easy and being a solo driver is difficult especially on those first few months. Stay determined, be strong, be safe.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Garrick M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Daniel B, still@ Central, now Swift? Let us know if you have time, and if you like it better, or worse. I just started my solo journey w/ swift. Thanks man, good luck wherever you are! G. Lemberger

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