Jim Palmer Cdl Training

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Aaron Placencia's Comment
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Well, I made it. Finally in Missoula, Montana. Left Friday morning at 8:50 am and arrived Sunday 7:30pm that bus ride was definitely brutal but it's okay. I'm here and ready, first day of orientation is tomorrow. I guess we already have trainers assigned to us for when we go out on the road at the end of the week. But I'll find out more tomorrow. My roommate hasn't heard about this site, so I've been letting him do the high road since his account is pending. He said he probably would fail the permit test because he didn't know a lot of the info. So I'm glad I can help, and thanks for this awesome site that gives us everything we need to try and be successful for this career. I've study like crazy and I'm nervous, so I'm hoping all the studying paid off but still has me worried. 😂 Anyways goodnight everyone I'll be back when I can with another update.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
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Good luck. Please keep us posted. You may get to meet Allie Knight while you are there.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
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Day one- well it started out by waking up at 4:30 am couldn't sleep was way to excited. So I just played on my phone, studied a little bit. 6:00 am rolls around and me and my roommate head down for breakfast. Didn't have much of a selection but I made due with oatmeal and raisins. Headed back up to our room to finish getting ready and grabbing our things. 7:00 am rolls around and nobody has shown up yet.. They said 6:55-7:00 am 😂 Late to my first day but wasn't my fault. Finally got to the terminal around 7:20ish and walked into the class room. Jim Palmer only brings in 5 students at a time so they had our names on where we would sit. Sat down and waited for Shannon, he's the main guy who is running it, he had to pick up a couple guys from the hotel who already have their cdl and switching from another company.

So this guy who I can't remember his name to save the life of me.. 😂 He was just explaining to us exactly everything we would be doing in class, rules and all that jazz, Shannon finally took over and gave us a tour, seen where the fleet managers worked, found out they only have 5 drivers each. Pretty cool I thought. We met our recruiters, they all were super nice and said if we need anything to just come talk with them.

Alright finally we head back to the class room, just more talking about what they are expecting and how fast the program will move. After that we went out to the truck and did the 3 points of contact, getting into the tractor and trailer. I'm a bigger guy and was a bit nervous on getting in the trailer 😂 But I managed to do it and felt better about myself. So we head in again, this time we are going over the contract with them. One year and you don't pay anything. I don't plan on leaving anyways, especially the first year. Need the experience!! But anyways after the contract we headed out to get our drug test done and dot physical. I had to pee so bad I could of filled up 3 of those cups 😂 But that was the easy part. Dot physical, I was worried. Blood pressure has to be at or below 140/90 and bmi has to be at 38 or lower or you have to get a sleep study test and only get a 3 month card. So literally my blood pressure was at 140/90 go figure right? He said just to keep losing weight and it'll help. Same with the bmi I was at 38 so again gotta bring it down!! He checked eye sight, had us lift our arms up, squat once, stand on one foot, both legs. Checked reflexes on your knee, elbow, and foot. Whispered. Followed a pen. That was it.... I was expecting to lift something or whatever but nope. Came out and sat down, the young lady called me over after a few mins and said alright you're all set, two year dot card... Ah yeah!! Made my day even better. So they took us out to this taco place for lunch and then back to the class room. Now it's cdl permit studying. Going over things, asking us questions. Did some practice quizzes on the computer and that Completed day one.

So far I'm having fun and enjoying everything, everyone here at Jim Palmer has been extremely nice and always encouraging us to ask question if we are struggling with anything. So it definitely helps out with relaxing a bit and not being so nervous. But time to study, have my permit test tomorrow. Hoping I can pass it, don't want to be a day behind everyone. So I'm going to try my best to remember everything. Anyways goodnight and I'll update tomorrow when I can.

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.

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.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Good luck on your permit test. If you used High Road Training Program you should have no problem. If you showed up with your DOT physical and learners permit would you be ahead of the class?

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.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, passed the permit test. Only missed 4 questions total from the 3 tests! Pretty happy about that. Permit won't transfer but they will pay for everything. Not sure on if the dot will transfer but again they pay for it. I just got back in. Gonna grab some dinner and I'll update with what went down today.

Good luck on your permit test. If you used High Road Training Program you should have no problem. If you showed up with your DOT physical and learners permit would you be ahead of the class?

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations. Great Job.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Day two- well again it started like day one, ate breakfast, just this time it was a giant cinnamon roll from this bakery shop that me and my roommate picked up last night. Pretty dang delicious. But anywho, we arrived to the terminal , did some studying for maybe 30 mins before Shannon told us to wrap it up and head down to the dmv. We loaded into the van and noticed we were one man short, Shannon came over and told us, just a heads up this is the group for now on. Not sure if he failed the drug test or left for different reasons.

We arrive at the dmv , and Justin who brought told us don't stress, you guys have been very knowledgeable and I know you got this. With our paperwork already finished we head in and sit down, only took couple mins for them to start taking us and entering our info and filling out paperwork. Once we finished that we were assigned the computer and head over, started with general knowledge (50), air brakes (25), and then combinations (20). I studied like crazy months in advance, also ran some practice test for the Missoula test. I missed 4 questions out of them all, I felt proud that all the studying I did paid off. Also it relieved so much stress knowing I can just now focus on learning the rest and not be a day behind.

We arrive back and tell Shannon the news that we all passed and jumped up out of his seat with a smile on his face and shook our hands to congratulate us. We sit down and Shannon shows us some pictures of what not to do in a truck and they were all from people who drove for Jim Palmer. Had this test but he read the questions, discussed the answers that were given and then we said what we thought it was and if we were right he said yep that's it or tell us which one it was. By that time Justin just came back with subway, so we headed up stairs are lunch and then back down to the class room. All four of us were pretty happy to finally get into the truck and mess with the gears.

Well I joined the first group, he took two of us, and showed us what we need to do, and it was basically going through the gears without accelerating. He asked who wants to go, and I was on the bunk as my rob was in the passenger seat and was like, go ahead Aaron I'll let you go. At that moment I was pretty nervous, and said what the heck I'll give it a shot. Sat down, got my seat adjusted and steering wheel. I double clutched decently not grinding and Shannon said " man we might make you a trucker this week" I'm saying beginners luck, he then asked me to down shift. That's where I struggled, I always seemed to grind it like crazy, I know the fundamentals of it and I just couldn't do it. Btw the brake pedal is super snenstive, I was like holy smokes man! I then pulled it to the side and let my partner go and watched. He did very well and was trying to just watch to just find better ways for me to improve shifting.

We head in and the other two go, Justin got the simulator up and running so we messed around with that, I hit a couple alley docks pretty good. Only because I've played video games on pc so I kind of had a feel for it. After that I had my final interview with the head of safety who just was checking over all my info, and entering my permit and changing over my license information. Went back down and was about to jump on the simulator and Shannon was back. He said you ready? I'm like yes sir!!! Let's go tear up some more gears around the lot. We funneled into the cab, and this time rob told me to take the front seat. Already knew why so I said whatever I'll go first haha. Shannon starts off by taking us off the lot and driving just talking about important things from, stopping before the stop sign and always look both ways, just common sense stuff but I know why he has to say them. So I'm sitting there like oh, maybe he's just gonna take us for a ride and talk us through some scenarios. WRONG! He pulled over and said who's ready to drive? I just had this blank stare on my face and basically was saying are you serious? I unbuckled and climbed into the seat, did everything I needed to do and he gave me directions. I'm a nervous wreck right now because an hour ago I was just learning to shift gears and now he wants me in traffic and I didn't want to mess up. I get going and I'm watching my mirrors and in front of me and doing pretty good shifting up, he had me jump onto i90, was pretty relaxing tbh I did decent holding my lane and I'm doing 55-58 mph, he said that's the sweet spot they like their drivers to use. He asked me to take this exit and down shift. I hit one and missed the next. So I just pushed the clutch in and stopped. 😂 Can I say I need work on downshifting? We switched, rob did okay, he grinder gears like crazy and then switched again. Heading back to the terminal and I hit two perfect downshifts, again it was a luck but still made me happy. We park it and get out, other two head in. I'm just messing with the simulator more and just working through gears and backing. Crazy second day but was super fun.

That ended our day and tomorrow we pull a trailer. I hope it goes well but I know a lot more attention has to go into pulling it and your angles you take. So hopefully i don't stress to much and mess up. Anyways I'll end this and I'll check in next time with an update. Stay safe and have a good one guys!

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Just relax and breath. You got this.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, I definitely need to relax and just stay calm. I'm sure if he didn't feel comfortable with us driving, he wouldn't have us out on the road so I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and practice hitting the right gears.

Just relax and breath. You got this.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Most have had the same problems when starting out. I'm sure when I get to start I will have some too. good-luck.gif

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