Jim Palmer Cdl Training

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Aaron Placencia's Comment
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Definitely from playing the games did help, but still need to practice on it. I knew exactly how the trailer was moving and I kept going way to fast where I couldn't get under it quick enough. So I just need to sloooow it down and take my time.

Hey Aaron, I just noticed where you were from. I've been through your area many times on my way from NH to my mom's in Harpswell and to see my son in college up in Orono. He is out now and living in Bangor. Anyway congrats on all the success you have had so far and for nailing the down shifts in the near future. I know you can do it.

I too use ETS2 and ATS pc simulators. They are great but of course don't help with the shifting. But the first and most important thing to accomplish is like what John and Martha King teach new pilots, "Just don't hit anything". Everything else is secondary. But you'll get all of those too, one thing at a time or maybe even in bunches. Good luck and safe driving!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Day 4- sit down in class and Shannon already is showing us the straight line, offset and the 90. Those are the only ones we will be tested on at the dmv. We cover it and head out to the truck. He has all four of us in the truck to show us the air brakes test. Pretty familiar with it due to watching videos before I came out here. Me and rob got off the truck and the other guys went out driving.

We then joined the group of guys who are about to test out for their cdl license next week, and Chris who is another trainer is going over the pre trip. It was a thorough pre trip so I enjoyed learning the things I didn't know. After that he asks, who wants to back first. I didn't say anything only because I wanted to watch the more experienced guys go before I gave it a shot, well no one said anything and Chris says, alright new guys come on up.

I head over and he says mr Placencia, go ahead and step right in. I set my seat and get everything set up. Btw I'm in a peterbilt and I've only been practicing on the freightliners. So I pull forward as Chris then walks me through it, he had me do a straight line back. Nailed it. He said okay, do it again. Nailed it. He then said okay, do an offset, pull between the orange and yellow cone and head towards the tractor and hit this spot. Nailed it. He then asked me to turn left and stop at the second cone, a 45 back, took me one pull up and goal. But I got it in. Again, beginners luck.

After that we headed to the class and waited because Chris had something to do so rob didn't get to back, eventually Shannon arrived and took us. I drove and it was through downtown Missoula, sharp corners, lefts and rights. We are on our way back to the terminal and this is where I messed up. I'm on a incline and making a right turn onto the dirt road that takes us. I'm waiting for traffic, and bam. Stalled it. I'm in fourth gear. Btw this is the freightliner. So I'm like okay. Neutral, turn key start. Shannon is walking me through it, I'm already frustrated because it was my first stall. I did it again... You think I would of learned the first time. Now I'm really just upset at myself and I'm apologizing, I downshifted to 3rd and finally was able to take off and get going. He had me back it up, and all I can say is it didn't go as well as the first time. Finally got it in and we left for lunch.

After lunch me and rob head back out on the road so rob can drive. He is progressing pretty well and actually leaves tomorrow morning with his trainer. We are now back at the terminal doing more backing. I'm in a better mood and I noticed with the freightliner I have trouble maintaining a slow momentum unlike the Pete.. I believe I figured out my problem from another student who tests out next week, by feathering the clutch.. I was trying to engage the clutch like when you take off and keep it that way. So tomorrow I will try to just feather it and hopefully it helps. Overall it was a good day. Minus the stalling. I know it's a learning process and I'll get it but still frustrating that I did it. But anyways. We get an extra hour of sleep tonight. Which is good.. I could use it. Haha but yeah I'll be back tomorrow with an update. I did find out they are closed on the weekends so, me and my roommate are gonna see if we can get a ride in the morning to do some pre trip and just study it like crazy. Anyways. Everyone take care and be safe.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
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Glad you're doing so well. I bet you messed up that last back because you were still beating yourself up for the stall. It happens to us all at times. Good luck tomorrow. Looking forward to your next post.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
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Yeah, one of the other students here said the same thing. I was to focused on what I did wrong and not letting it go and just working on the task at hand. Definitely a learning curve. Backing will slowly progress same with the gears. But I have faith that in 3 weeks I'll be able to do everything to a decent ability to pass my road test.

Glad you're doing so well. I bet you messed up that last back because you were still beating yourself up for the stall. It happens to us all at times. Good luck tomorrow. Looking forward to your next post.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Great attitude.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Day 5- today started by doing a pre trip and hitting the road. All highway this time. This was the first time me and my roommate actually drove together. He went first and he did okay, but by watching I was able to keep in mind not to do this or that. We switched and I jumped in, adjusted mirrors and got going. Made a left and then left back onto the highway. I climbed through the gears with no problems. Drove awhile then went to take my exit. Tried to down shift and well again I missed it. 😂 But I recovered and got it back into gear and then hit one downshift before I had to come to a stop. Pulled around and then parked and rob took over. He struggles getting through the gears and even misses reading signs and all that. But hey, a lot is on your mind when you're new and trying to learn so since he left today he'll get his practice in with his trainer.

We got back to the terminal and we all went and had lunch. More than half jumped into the other van as me and my roommate went to Walmart. All I needed was a pillow. Also aloe Vera.... I may have burned Thursday from being in the sun for 10 hours... Oops. But anywho we get back again and sitting in class. Talking with Justin about tire chains and all that fun stuff. Also I know my trainers name and apparently he's a pretty chill dude. Darwin another trainer their asked us if we wanted to do some backing so I jump up and say hell yeah.

Darwin gets into the Pete and shows us how to do a 90 degree back. Also showed us how to slide your trailer tandems. First up. Me. I'm thinking great, watch me screw this up. I pull forward and take a wide left. That was my first problem but it's okay. I didn't get my trailer turning fast enough so Darwin ran out and told me to pull forward. So I did and pulled forward farther than the first time. He said he'll walk with me and told me don't be afraid if I need to I'll jump right up the door if I have to. So I start my back and get my trailer going. I then get it turning and to aim the trailer for the whole and start chasing it so I can get back under it. The whole time Darwin tried to tell me what to do but I already was doing it so he just walked along and let me do it. I got it right in without a pull up, minus the first attempted that failed. He congratulated me and said you know the fundamentals and you'll get it easier and easier with practice. I still think without him I'd miss but it does feel good getting it done right and all that.

Only got one shot at it while Darwin had to pick up a truck so we played on the simulator for awhile and talked with some drivers who actually went to the school. They were the first class with Jim Palmer so I asked a few questions about how long it took and all that but overall it was a pretty laid back day. It's Friday, I'm sure they wanted to leave.

Tomorrow Justin actually is picking us up, nobody will be at the terminal minus the dispatchers but me and my roommate want to pre trip and pre trip. I'm glad they are okay with us coming down to do that l, definitely helps tho because I'm still a little shaky on remember the part names.

It'll be a quiet weekend, so I won't post about it, Monday my trainer comes, so I'm not sure when I'll be leaving. I just know he lives in New Hampshire, and I'm in Maine. Guess they tried finding someone somewhat close haha. But yeah I'll check in Monday. Take care and be safe everyone.

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.

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".

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

Sounds like your having tons of fun. Keep up the good work. Of course keep us posted.

Bob .'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.

Is the drug test only urinalysis?

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.
Bob .'s Comment
member avatar

Is the drug test at JP urinalysis only?

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Yes sir.

Is the drug test at JP urinalysis only?

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