Jim Palmer Cdl Training

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Aaron Placencia's Comment
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Day 6- Sorta... We had the weekend off but we went down Saturday and did some pre trip and talked with some of the drivers. But today we let the new guys go to class first and wait on the return trip in the morning. We hang out in the drivers lounge and just wait to see what Darwin wants to do. He finally says we will go out driving and then do some backing. So we head out and pre trip the freightliner and the peterbilt. After the new students check out the truck and trailer we finally can hit the road.

Brad went first, he's testing out later this week for his cdl license. We went up into the mountains, found a place to turn around and I jumped up to take my turn. I was told the peterbilt shifts differently and was a little harder to get into gear. I didn't struggle with that at all, probably wasn't the smoothest but it went in. 6% grade coming down, think I did okay, I just left it in 10th and since I was empty i tried to keep my safe speed at 55 so when I hit 60 I brought it down. We make it back to the terminal and he had me do a 90, made it with one pull up.

My roommate has been struggling with backing and after a couple we went inside just to wait for the van again so we can go to lunch. We had Freddy's steak burgers. Pretty decent. But anywho once we got back we head back out to the range and Darwin said don't worry about backing lets get dalton some practice, I agreed because I was picking up on it faster.

We eventually had two trucks going and doing 90s, I went twice and again only one pull up and got it in. At this point, it's pretty hot out and everyone is just ready to cool off. Dalton on the other truck the whole time finally hits a 90 with guidance but still progressing. We head in and then get taken back to the hotel.

Overall it's just going to be backing practice and maybe some driving, my trainer was supposed to show up today but I didn't see him. I'm guessing I'll see him in the morning and may be leaving tomorrow. I hope so because I really want to get to practicing on my gears and downshifting. Anyways. This is another short update but we didn't do much today. I'll check in tomorrow and let you guys know what's going on, hopefully it's with me saying I have to drive and deliver a load somewhere. 😎 But anyways. See you guys tomorrow.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Big Scott's Comment
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Seems like you are way more relaxed then you were just a few days ago. Isn't it amazing that about a week ago you had never driven a truck. Now you're itching to get on the road. That is awesome. So, how quickly did you get your $200/ week advance? How do they work that? Do they give you a check or do they direct deposit it? I hope your trainer gets you in the morning. Looking forward to your next post.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
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I have yet to get the 200 but I will once I go out with my trainer. They use the comm checks. I guess the best time to cash them is fleshed you fuel up because most times they'll wave the fee to cash it. I could use the money right about now but I can make things work if need be haha

Seems like you are way more relaxed then you were just a few days ago. Isn't it amazing that about a week ago you had never driven a truck. Now you're itching to get on the road. That is awesome. So, how quickly did you get your $200/ week advance? How do they work that? Do they give you a check or do they direct deposit it? I hope your trainer gets you in the morning. Looking forward to your next post.

Big Scott's Comment
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Thanks. I thought the $200 started within the first few days. Good luck.

Stewart A.'s Comment
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Hey Aaron, glad to see you are still making posts and progress. Has your room mate used ETS2 or ATS to try and help with his backing? Another thing I haven't heard anyone talking about but is readily available is to use a bicycle. Yup a bicycle. If you take a bicycle and stand in front of it holding the handlebars and walk it backwards, the front wheel then becomes your truck/tractor and the frame becomes your trailer and the rear wheel of course becomes your tandems. You can see and get a sense of how the front of the trailer (front of the bicycle frame) needs to be manipulated in order to get the tandems where you want them to go. If you don't cheat and lean the bike or turn the handle bars without properly rolling forward or backward and at a rate consistent with how turning the wheels on your truck would make it turn, then it can help.

For some people they focus so much on the tandems and don't realize that the whole thing comes down to where do they need to move the front of the trailer to make the back/tandems go where they want it to.

I realize to that this method also puts you at a 180 degree different viewing position of what you really see when you are in the seat of that truck but for some it can be a helpful tool while not for others.

Keep up the good work Aaron.good-luck.gif

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".

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I'm just enjoying the knowledge from some of the guys. So spending a few extra days I don't see it as a waste. The more I learn the better. Update coming soon. Pretty boring update but oh well 😂

Hey Aaron, glad to see you are still making posts and progress. Has your room mate used ETS2 or ATS to try and help with his backing? Another thing I haven't heard anyone talking about but is readily available is to use a bicycle. Yup a bicycle. If you take a bicycle and stand in front of it holding the handlebars and walk it backwards, the front wheel then becomes your truck/tractor and the frame becomes your trailer and the rear wheel of course becomes your tandems. You can see and get a sense of how the front of the trailer (front of the bicycle frame) needs to be manipulated in order to get the tandems where you want them to go. If you don't cheat and lean the bike or turn the handle bars without properly rolling forward or backward and at a rate consistent with how turning the wheels on your truck would make it turn, then it can help.

For some people they focus so much on the tandems and don't realize that the whole thing comes down to where do they need to move the front of the trailer to make the back/tandems go where they want it to.

I realize to that this method also puts you at a 180 degree different viewing position of what you really see when you are in the seat of that truck but for some it can be a helpful tool while not for others.

Keep up the good work Aaron.good-luck.gif

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".

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

All your updates are great.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

So we are waiting for the van and I see Justin pull in to get the first load of guys and I'm like "wow he's early, well on time but early." Usually they've been getting us past 7 but he was right on the dot 6:55 we all had a little laugh about it. We arrive and head to the driver lounge and wait to see what's happening, I brought all my stuff because I was expecting to leave this morning. Justin pulls it up and tells me he was routed to Oregon and then they added 3 stops to it. So this afternoon he should be in. I'm like cool, not a problem. I'll head out do a pre trip and do some backing.

We get done with the pre trip and went over the air brake test a few times. Which in understanding a lot more with the reps. But a couple of guys went out to test for their cdl license. Out of the two only one passed. He failed the backing maneuvers. He's been here with his training for the past couple days but him and his trainer have been sitting in the driver lounge watching tv. He even opted out from sleeping in the truck and paid for a hotel room. He would of had the whole pad to practice at night and in the morning if need be but they didn't make the effort. Even after the failed attempt they stayed and watched tv so I'm not sure what's going on or if they have a plan of an attack soon.

I've kept myself outside around the trucks, even if I'm not backing I'm watching and playing over the things I'd do and what not to do. I hit a 90 no pull-ups and Darwin said some get it and some just have natural talent and I'm like wow, let's not say that. I've played video games so I'm guessing it has helped translate the way the trailer moves and it's just clicking easier. But I'm sure I won't be perfect and I'm sure I'll need the practice. I call it luck and I'll just keep learning from my mistakes when they happen.

We have lunch and head back out, this time I'm just watching and talking with some of the new students. It's now getting pretty hot out so we slip into the drivers lounge for a little bit just to cool off. Get some water and all that. They had the simulator up and going in the training room so we stopped by and seen the new guys mess with it and I just said, this will feel nothing like a truck but it can help you remember what gear you're in and all that.

We have an hour left and we hit the pad for more backing, this time it was all offset, I didn't do any but I understand the concept and the last time I did it i did decent with it. If I have time tomorrow I'm going to try and get the 90 and off set maybe drive around town. All depends on when my trainer shows up.

All I know is when he does show up we will be leaving probably right away. He will be under a load and heading to Kentucky. This will be fun. Since I'm sure I'll be doing all the driving. Or at least most of it. I'm super excited but nervous as well. Never drove anything this big that far. I know they set me up to succeed and I'm going to give it hell and try my best to not mess up badly. With the help of my coach in sure I can do it just fine. But anyways that's my day. A lot of standing and talking and backing. Tomorrow my adventure should start, road experience and everything else. I'll do my best to keep you guys updated once I hit the road. Anyways everyone have a great day 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.

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's Comment
member avatar

Awesome. You will be great because of your strong desire to learn. Just be cool. You have a few miles under your belt. You can only see a certain distance in front of you anyhow. So, that's how far you are driving at a time. smile.gifgood-luck.gif

Top Llama's Comment
member avatar

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate you writing out your day to day here Aaron. I'm just now starting to look into companies having never held a CDL before and Jim Palmer was the first one I reached out to. Being able to read about what you're doing and how the staff are has really helped me better understand what I'll be getting into. Thanks man, you're a great writer too you should maybe continue past just your training! I would definitely read that.

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.
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