The B Team Returns To The Road

Topic 20760 | Page 3

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B Team's Comment
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We have been waiting to update our status until we had some news to share. We have some great news… Cheryl and I did our road test for our CDL this morning and WE PASSED! We now have Class A Commercial Drivers Licenses!! All the studying, shifting and backing practice has paid off. Thanks to the staff at Trenholm Community College; our instructors there are the best! Our tests went great. We both had to perform a pre-trip inspection for the first part of the exam. I had to do an “A” inspection. That is the front of the tractor; the exterior, engine, suspension, steering, and braking system, Cheryl got the “B” inspection which is the tractor from the engine compartment through the rear of the tractor, including the rear axle, suspension, tires, and braking system. We both had to do the coupling system; the fifth wheel and all of its components. Following that, we both had to do the three backing test required by the State of Alabama; a straight line back, and offset back, and a 90 degree alley dock. After that, we headed out with an examiner for the actual road test which is about a ten to twelve mile loop of divided highways, city streets, and interstate driving. Every turn, curve, intersection, and stop is graded. We both did very well, it really went by pretty fast. After a celebratory lunch at Mickey D’s, we went to the DMV and got our actual licenses. We have a few more nights of classes; we will cover subjects that we need to know that are not part of the testing, and we will graduate and receive our diplomas on Thursday (12/7). We have decided to go to work with Werner Industries. They are a large, national trucking company based in Omaha, Nebraska. We will be over the road (OTR) team drivers and will be traveling in 48 states. We will begin training at their Atlanta terminal on Monday, December 11th. We plan on doing some clothes shopping this coming week since us southern folks don’t have much real winter gear. We hope to be ready to report to work next week. Thanks again for your prayers and good wishes, keep them coming as we begin our training phase with Werner. We’ll post about our progress as time allows. More updates soon!

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.

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.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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

B Team's Comment
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By the way, please pardon all of the verbose explanations about things that are commonly understood by those in the industry. These same posts are shared on FB for our friends and family. Hence the long explanations.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jim F.'s Comment
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Congrats you guys, good job. I start in Jan.

B Team's Comment
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Well, it’s time for a real update. Sorry that it’s been a while, we have been extremely busy since the last update. We reported to Werner Enterprises’ Atlanta terminal on Monday, December 11th for orientation. It was a jam packed couple of days! Day one was a bunch of employment paperwork, drug screens, physicals, and computer based training. Day two was more of the same with lots to learn in a short period of time. You sure get a lot crammed into your head in the two day orientation! While in Atlanta, we stayed at a hotel called My Place; it’s about a mile and a half from the Atlanta terminal. It is owned by Werner, and it’s where they put up all of their trainees, and drivers when their trucks are in Atlanta for repairs or drivers need retraining. The rooms are set up for two trainees per room, but since Mrs. B and I are married, we had our own room. After orientation the trainees continue to stay there waiting for drug screens to come back, more advanced classes, and waiting to be assigned a trainer. All new employees are assigned a trainer that you go on the road with for 275 hours of driving before being assigned a personal truck. The process usually takes about 6-8 weeks. Since we will be training in the same truck, we were transferred to the Omaha terminal. It’s called 2 plus 1 training, and it’s only for couples, or family members that are team drivers. We were given a rental car to drive to Omaha last Saturday. We dropped our personal vehicle at the house and had about a two hour visit in Montgomery. Then we headed for the Midwest. We drove non-stop to Kingdom City, Missouri and grabbed a little sleep at a Super 8 motel. On Sunday we completed the 1200 mile trip to Omaha. We checked into the HomeTown Lodge, also owned by Werner, on Sunday afternoon. Monday and Tuesday consisted of 8am safety meetings and shuttling back and forth from the hotel to the terminal. It’s about a five minute ride. The Werner shuttle makes round trips back and forth about every 20 minutes. They’ll also run you to Walmart, restaurants, or the movies. We have also attended classes on backing, how to install tire chains, and other driver stuff. We had a nice meal at the truck stop down the road on Sunday night, and Werner gave us a real nice first day lunch at their cafeteria, but most of the meals have been vending machine and microwave meals. Mrs. B has been doing her best to be the food police and keeping me from going junk food crazy. The best news is that we were assigned a trainer today. He’s on the way to Omaha to pick us up within the next couple of days. He’s currently delivering a load in Missouri, and should arrive in Omaha late Wednesday or early Thursday. We talked on the phone tonight; he sounds like a really nice guy, and we’re looking forward to meeting him. We will be on his truck for the next couple of months, so we hope that we like each other. We’re spending the day wrapping things up at the terminal, shipping our Christmas gifts to family, and packing for the road. We’ll continue to keep all of you updated as time allows. Til then, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you! We appreciate your prayers and support.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Fantastic to read you both are still on track and progressing through "the process".dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

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