My TMC Transport Orientation And Training

Topic 1531 | Page 1

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Steve C.'s Comment
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I thought I'd start this thread up for anyone recent CDL graduates thinking about TMC.

9/29/2013 This was the travel day. Most people had to take the bus, but a few of us were lucky to ride out in rental cars with TMC employees who just finished their time with a trainer and were heading back to Iowa to test out and get their own trucks. I got some good information about what to expect, and it was a lot more fun than taking the bus. I met the other two at i-94 near ann arbor, michigan at a pilot station and we were off at about 2 AM. Des Moines bound. We arrived in Des Moines a little after 10, got ourselves some breakfast, then hit the hotel. The hotel staff were very nice and got me my room key as well as an orientation packet. I took a nap then went for a jog on the country roads through the cornfields. It is beautiful out here. I came back exhausted, ate a quick dinner, and got to sleep for the first actual day of orientation.

9/30/2013 The shuttle from the hotel was to leave at 6:45AM. The packet instructed us to eat a light breakfast avoiding caffeine and sweets. I had some unsalted almonds and a bottle of water and was on my way. We arrived at the training center around 7:30 and were split up by new drivers and experienced drivers and sent into separate rooms. The room for new drivers was basically a big computer lab. Our names were already on pieces of paper at the top of each monitor so we knew where to sit. Our classroom instructor, George, is rude, crude, funny, and most importantly honest. He is telling us the truth of what it is going to be like out there, both good and bad. We started doing some computer learning modules and shortly after we were sent for a physical. The physical itself was very laid back (compared to the one I experienced in my very brief time at prime). All the nurses and doctors were very nice and got us through quickly without rushing us though. It was typical physical stuff including blood pressure check, drug test, eyesight test, hernia check, reflex check, and some other moving bending. After this we went back to the classroom for a very short time before being sent out to a garage on the yard for part two of our physical. This was the hard part, we met with a physical therapist who showed up proper lifting techniques. Then we had to lift the 120 pound lumber tarp up onto our shoulder, walk about thirty feet, and place it on the trailer. After that we had to climb the side of the trailer (jump to put our belly on it, then swing ourselves over), and lift the tarp onto a coil. We then, using three contact points, walked around the coil and took the tarp down on the other side. Next we safely climbed down the back of the trailer, walked back to where we set the tarp, picked it up, and carried to back 20 feet to where we started. Then we had to properly crawl under the trailer without straining our backs. Finally we had to climb a ladder to the top of a 13'6" load and stand with our toes off the edge before climbing back down. We lost one person from the orientation because he couldn't climb the side of the trailer, he was sent home. Then back to the building for lunch. They feed you like kings at TMC. After that back to the classroom for more testing as well as filling out some general forms (tax forms etc.). It really wasn't too long of a day, they sent us back on the bus around 5.

10/1/2013 Today started the same with the shuttle heading to the training center at 6:45. We got there and went straight to our classrooms. Today we spent a little time on our computer tests, but far more we were being instructed about load planning, qualcomm , company policies, and more. I'm pretty tired so I don't think I will touch on all of it today, but most of the day was spent in the classroom. After 5 half the group went home and the other half stayed for more time on tests, 13 speed shifting practice on the simulators, and straight backing in the yard. The 13 speed (on the simulator at least) really wasn't hard to shift, pretty fun really. In the yard they had us run up to fourth gear while going forward, then downshift to 3rd, then stop and back up in idle through about 100 feet of cones. These peterbilts are NICE trucks.

This is all for now, leave any questions you have for me here and I'll get back to you.

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.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Very cool man! How long is orientation?

Steve C.'s Comment
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Very cool man! How long is orientation?

It's actually two weeks of orientation then five weeks out with a trainer. It seems like a lot, but they are being really thorough and I appreciate it. Besides, we get paid $400/wk for orientation and $425/wk while with a trainer. Not bad considering we aren't making any money for them yet.

I forgot to mention, even the bus they use to take us to the training center is black and chrome!

10/2/2013 Today was shorter for those of us who did simulators and straight backing last night. We spent the morning learning about hours of service and how to do electronic logs and paper logs for if the e-log system breaks. After lunch we had a test on it, then watched some videos about safety features that all the trucks have. They have a bendix wingman, which seems pretty slick from what I can tell. Hopefully I'll never need it to kick in, but it's nice to have. It basically automatically slows the truck in a safe manner if you are hitting a corner too fast or lose traction on the ground. The other device, I forget the name of, is basically a radar detector that notifies you if your closing speed is too great among other things. Another good day in the books.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve C.'s Comment
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10/3/2013 Today we went over a lot of final odds and ends, it is the last day of actual classroom time. We filled out our tuition reimbursement forms and learned more about using the qualcomm. A few higher ups from TMC came in to give us some pep talks, congratulating us for getting this far and so on. We also learned about school visits (once we have our own truck we can earn $75 for visiting a trucking school and telling them about TMC and flatbedding) and driver referrals ($300-$500 for referring an experienced driver). Tomorrow we take the 6AM shuttle for load securement training.

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.
Woody's Comment
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Then we had to properly crawl under the trailer without straining our backs.

I know Steve is really busy, could someone elaborate on this?

I've heard people mention duck walking, is that getting as low as a baseball catcher and walking or bending at the waste and knees and walking?

Thanks.

Steve C.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Then we had to properly crawl under the trailer without straining our backs.

double-quotes-end.png

I know Steve is really busy, could someone elaborate on this?

I've heard people mention duck walking, is that getting as low as a baseball catcher and walking or bending at the waste and knees and walking?

Thanks.

Actually for this particular exercise because of the way the TMC trailers are set up it involved getting on hands and knees and crawling. I believe duckwalking would be exactly like you described it. That is how we went under the trailer for pre-trip inspections at driving school. It seems like less strain on your back than just bending over.

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.

Tom P.'s Comment
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Nice entries. I like how detailed you get with the descriptions of things. I'm going to be going to CDL School in a few weeks and I'm thinking of making TMC my choice of company after everything is done, so your diary is of supreme interest to me.

How many people are in your orientation training 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.
Steve C.'s Comment
member avatar

Nice entries. I like how detailed you get with the descriptions of things. I'm going to be going to CDL School in a few weeks and I'm thinking of making TMC my choice of company after everything is done, so your diary is of supreme interest to me.

How many people are in your orientation training class?

I think around 24 people are left, only two have left. So far I have zero complaints with the company, I'll keep you updated. I'd suggest putting in an application with TMC now and getting in touch with a recruiter. They can help you make sure they'll hire out of your CDL school and everything else. I'm just enjoying my quiet evening in the hotel for another hour or so until I go to bed, so if you think of any questions right away I'll check again before bed.

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.
Tom P.'s Comment
member avatar

Just thought of one, although it's not particularly urgent: what computer are you typing your replies on? Does TMC have a computer area at the orientation center or did you bring a laptop with wi-fi?

Steve C.'s Comment
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Just thought of one, although it's not particularly urgent: what computer are you typing your replies on? Does TMC have a computer area at the orientation center or did you bring a laptop with wi-fi?

I brought my laptop and am using the hotel wifi, but there is a computer in the hotel lobby with internet access you can use.

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