Beginning Company Sponsored Training With Roehl

Topic 1775 | Page 5

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Brian's Comment
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Are you ready for more snow? We're supposed to get more in my area tomorrow, hoping it's not too much. I'm still not ready for winter!

PJ's Comment
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Day 16:

Woke up and found overnight it actually warmed up and the snow was melting, and no ice. YAY!!! Got to the terminal and pretripped our truck. Bob got there and we got hooked to our trailer and pretripped it. He said today was the final chance and asked if there was anything specific we wanted to work on. My partner has been up and down with the backing so she asked for that. I didn't really have any specific items. I can use more practice on everything and that isn't possible.

Bob made a command decision. We drove about 20 miles out to a truck stop we have been to several times. They have great breakfast. It was pretty foggy, but not real bad. I am used to dense fog and this stuff didn't even come close to qualifying.

After the last road trip we got back to the terminal and went for some backing practice as my partner requested. Then at our prescribed time we parked everything and reported to the classroom for our final written exam.

Got it done, and graded. I got a 94% on it. Not bad. My academic overall score is somewhere in the mid 90's so I can accept that.

Then the final hour came. We were all handed our certificates and congradulated by the instructors for being a "very good class". We were officially no longer RDTC students.

We are now company drivers in training. Tomorrow at 0630 hrs. we become official Roehl employee's. Then we got a policy manual and told we need to read over it tonight, because tomorrow will be spent on it as well as other associated new hire things and if we go over it tonight will go along way in getting out earlier tomorrow. I can take a hint....I'm through 2/3's of it. A lot of stuff is pretty standard.

After tomorrow they give us time to get home and take care of things quickly and set out with our OTR trainers, which we may find out tomorrow who they will be.

So I'll probably post tomorrow's events after I get home Saturday night.

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.

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.

Richard O.'s Comment
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Congratulations PJ.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey congrats PJ! That's awesome! My fingers are crossed - hoping you get a trainer with a friendly disposition!

PJ's Comment
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Thanks Brett, Me Too!!!!

Orientation day on Friday was one of the biggest world winds I have experienced in along time. We started at 0630 and from the first minute we were doing something. They were jamming all the hiring stuff in very quickly. HR paperwork, payroll papewrwork, fuel cards, voicemail, email, you name it and they went over it and quickly. I just hope I remember 10%. I got notes but those only go so far.

We did the physical ability test which was no problem except we couldn't have coffee till it was over. For me that was truly the hardest part. The nurse thought her machine was broke when she took my heart rate. It was 36. I told her nope it's working fine. I have always had a low heart rate, and I have been having full heart checkups for 8 years. I am fine, just a low heart rate. They checked your heart rate after each test and at the most strenuous one it went to 76. Then Bob brought the lunch list by for my selection and it actually went to 80. I told the nurse I had my priorities. She got a good laugh.

We meet face to face with our fleet training managers. Mine is a lady that has a lot of experience as a FM , and has recently transferred over to the FTM position. She spent a lot of time just getting to know me and stressed how important she feels that I'm not just a number on her board. She made it a very personable experience.

She explained the program in detail, both what we could expect as well as her expectations of us. She seemed a little hestitant about us getting back out next week. I told her I know it's thanksgiving week, but I was good with whatever she could arrange. She looked surprised I said that. I told her I expected to get home on Saturday evening, Monday morning at 0800 hrs. I was switching my license, so she could feel free to set up my pickup anytime after 1200 hrs. on Monday. She looked relieved. She said she would get busy on it and to call her first thing Monday morning after I got done with DMV. We got all done and thanked me for helping make her job matching me with a trainer easier. I told her I felt we are working together and whatever we can do too make life easier is a benefit to both of us. She just smiled.

At the very end of the day the instructors told us we have money loaded on our fuel cards that is for us, and explained how we can access it. I was a bit confussed. They paid us mileage to go home. Sweet. Totally unexpected, but they said it is the company's way of giving us a good startup, since we had paid our own way there and for our stay while in school.

I hit the road and got home yesterday, so will cool my heels till tomorrow morning, then back to business.

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.

Fm:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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Awesome! Things are rolling along nicely. And the way you're interacting with everyone is perfect. That is sooooo important in trucking. Most driver have awful people skills and aren't interested in having good people skills. Truckers tend to be fiercely independent people with strong personalities who don't care much what others think. The problem is you're depending on office personnel to give you freight, information you need, get you home, get repairs scheduled on your truck, and all kinds of stuff.

Well most office personnel are not at all like truckers. They're quite the opposite in fact. Most of them care entirely too much about what others think of them and they avoid confrontation or the possibility of offending anyone. So while a trucker might tell someone in the offices, "Hey, your idea sucks. That's a horrible way of approaching this and I'm going to do it my way" the people in the office receiving that message are going to be mortified! They're going to think you're just another loud-mouth, know-it-all jerk with the brains of a caveman. Well that might not be true at all! Maybe you just speak your mind and expect others to do the same. But I learned the hard way early on in my trucking career that speaking your mind like you're with a bunch of construction workers, which is how I was raised, doesn't cut it with office personnel.

So keep a great attitude and continue to speak to everyone with kindness and respect, especially when you really don't want to or you feel they don't deserve it. And those times will be plenty I assure you.

But the saying, "You'll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar" is 100% true in trucking. If you can get along well with people it will take you a long, long ways. There are a ton of great drivers who never get treated real well or get any special favors because nobody in the offices can stand them. No matter how good you are as a driver you'll always have to count on the office personnel for support. If they don't like you your life is going to be miserable. If they do, you'll always have an ally on your side.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
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Thanks Brett, I couldn't agree more. Some people think about themselves only and not what else goes on around them for others to make everything work. I learned those lessons long ago, the hard way.

I got my license switched this morning bright and early, followed the instructions getting the new info to the company, and called my FTM. All done by 0900 hrs.

Sara seemed very surprised to hear from me so early. She was very happy I was taking care of things in a timely manner. She said she was still working on getting me with a trainer, but assured me she is working on it as quickly as she can. She said she will try and give me as much advance notice as she can, but no guarantee's. I told her no problem. Just call when she gets it all sorted. I told her no matter when she tells me I'll be there. She said my partner in school had just called her also, and she was amazed we both were moving things along so timely.

So I'm just relaxing and trying to enjoy a little time off. I'll let ya'll know when I get assigned to a trainer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
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Time off is over!!!!!

I checked in yesterday morning and was still in a holding pattern. By early afternoon I got a call from a driver, saying he is my trainer and wanted to confirm where I am physically at. His name is Mike. The first question he asked was how many hours I was coming out with. I told him my full 70. He was pleased. Then he told me to pack light there are plenty of laundermats and not to worry about having clean cloths. I told him I had a pillow, sleeping bag, duffle bag, and briefcase. Again he seemed pleased with the answer. He said he will be in Ft. Smith in the morning and he will touch base with me then.

He told me to make sure I contacted my FTM, and asked who it was. I told him and he said oh good. I told him I would call her immediately after we hung up. He sounded like he was older and I think we had a good first conversation.

I called Sara, (my FTM) and after a few rounds of telephone tag we got to speak. She had got my message and was surprised I had already spoke with Mike. She seemed pleased though. She said he has been with Roehl since 2005 and has a lot of experience as a trainer, and she believes he is in around 50 years young.

This sounds like I have an excellent opportunity with this phase of my training. I have my stuff all packed and just waiting for the call today.

If I'm not on the next couple days, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!

PJ's Comment
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Well life is always full of surprises. I just got a call from my trainer. He woke up this morning routed the wrong way to pick me up, and he has spoke to his FM and all he got was "we're working on it". He wasn't real pleased. He told me to call my FTM and let her know what is going on.

I immediately called and she said "yeah we hit a snag". She said she is working with the other FM but not real sure what the answer is or will be. So I'm on hold. She said it will be at least a couple days to get this trainer headed my way, or maybe changing trainers.

Disappointing but they will figure something out I'm sure. They have an investment in me and with the holiday it's making things a little more challenging.

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.

Fm:

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.
JanaBanana's Comment
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Hang in there PJ! I think you were just fated to have a holiday dinner before you hit the road. Happy Thanksgiving and good luck this coming week. I've really enjoyed reading your posts good-luck.gif

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