I look forward to reading on your progress. Good luck.
Still waiting patiently by the phone :) I've got it narrowed down to KC & TMC. Knight never called back & I'd have to pay my own way to Phoenix & pay for my room, etc. to stay out there etc....so I guess it's not worth it (for me anyway)? KC is supposed to call with where / when training will start (they're using a private school paid for by them). & I'm told my TMC app is being reviewed by their hiring committee.
I decided to go with KC Transportation. It was down to them & TMC. I passed on TMC as they didn't offer a local (home daily) option, & I wasn't sure about lugging the tarp(s) on a maybe slippery flatbed in the winter (my back isn't what it used to be). Anyways my orientation day was yesterday. The class is me & 1 other guy. After the safety videos & a pile of paperwork, we went over to the driving school 20 miles away. More forms to be filled out, then a tour of the building & they let us go until Monday. The actual class is 5 people; myself & the other person from KC included. So far everyone has been really nice also, no issues at all with anybody. Just gives you an all around better feeling about what (I think) I'm getting into :)
OK week 1 in the classroom is over & everyone passed (all 3 of us - 1 guy decided he didn't want to do it I guess & the other was an observer from my company to make sure the training program was what they expected). Next week we begin pre-trips & in-truck stuff (backing up, etc.)
Well, we just finished (outdoor) week 2 of driving school, so far I've been in school for 3 weeks. we did pre-trips, straight-line backing, offset backing & began doing 90s (alley docks) Friday. Most of our training was done in a '94(?) Kenworth T600 with a 10 speed. Overall I'm happy with the school / trainers. It's also nice to get along well with the other guys in my group. There have been a few bad times for me where I was kind of ****ed at myself. Like being able to 1-shot the offset backing both times & on my next turn I'd need about 3 pull-ups. I used a few 4 letter words & did better the next time. I'll update again some other time.
Well I have 1 more week left. This past week was where I definitely had my most frustrating day. We had our first day on the road, driving with a trainer. Long story short, I just did not get downshifting & threw my hands in the air at one point. I was really glad to get out of that driver's seat.... But I went at it the next day, felt better & did much better. I think my 3rd day was even better, just need to stay off the clutch. But, my test is on Thursday & I have the pre-trip pretty much memorized I think. I think I'll feel better about my road test after I drive a few more times. I'll update how everything goes.
Side note, I had jury duty & had to miss a day. So I missed probably one of the dumbest things someone did in training. We had a guy in his 70s "join" our group. He had been there, I guess longer than anyone else. We all tried helping him, but he just wouldn't listen & kept running cones over, & he'd be in the truck about 20 minutes to do an offset. Anyways the day I was gone, he wasn't there. I asked what happened to him. Apparently WHILE he was doing maneuvers in the lot, he was on his cell phone. & wouldn't put the phone down when asked (several times) by the trainer. During all this, he wrecked several cones & managed to peel a mudflap off. I guess he got mad & got in his car & left. Haven't seen him since. Still....who does things like that...in training?!
Weekly update time! I had my test date moved to Monday -12/18 (I found out earlier in the week). On Monday I drove for about...oh, 30 minutes? & the only reason I drove that long is because I was going 20 mph on the freeway surface roads & it had been snowing for an hour or 2 & it was slippery. Tuesday: No class due to weather Wednesday: No class due to weather Thursday: No class due to weather Friday: No class due to an admin meeting. But I still have to take my test Monday at 10am even though I haven't been in a truck in a week. I wouldn't mind more time, but, I think I can do it with what time I've put in. As usual, I'll post what happens.
Operating While Intoxicated
This has been an interesting week. Lots of ups & downs. Monday started off with a classmate taking his CDL test & passing. We congratulated him & then it was my turn to take my CDL test. I got in the truck, went through everything, & felt pretty good. The tester asked me: "Does that complete it?" I said "Yes..... how bad did I do?" His response: "Bad. You failed." I said... OK...? Then he mentioned the air loss test & I said "4psi max in a minute" & realized I forgot to do the whole 1 minute air loss test. Unfortunately what I did / forgot is an instant fail. It's not that I mind making mistakes, but it's a $150 mistake because I have to re-schedule the test & wait 48 hours. The rest of that day sucked. Failing the test pretty much ruined the rest of the day for me. I had to drive with my other trainer & 4 passengers. I like the trainer, but he likes to talk. It's kind of confusing when he's talking to other students in the sleeper & to me; sometimes I don't know who he's talking to. Like once I saw his left arm raise up as to motion me into the left turn lane. So I put on my signal, & safely moved over. He asked me why I was getting in the turn lane so early. I mentioned he put his arm up, so I thought that meant move over. It gets better. Shortly after that, I somehow stalled in the middle of a right hand turn. After several 4 letter words, I was up & moving again. A little later I was shifting while accelerating. The trainer said "Shift!" during every shift point until I hit about 9th gear. Then he asked me why I was shifting so fast? I said, "You're the trainer, you tell me to shift, so I shift..." After all that fun, I drove back to the yard & turned in 4th gear (I have turned in here before with no issues). Somehow he didn't like my turn & said "Everything in that trailer would have just tipped over the way you took that turn". By now I had had it with the whole day & decided to fire back a little bit with a bit of humor added. I said "Well, my company is drop & hook, so I'd let them deal with it". He said "Well, they'd probably make you unload it or fix it... work smarter, not harder". Then I said "I'll be hooked up to another trailer & down the road by then". He didn't have much to say after that. I couldn't wait to get out of that truck. I had had it.
Tuesday I drove with my usual trainer & had a much easier time. After a pre-trip, my shifting was improving & I felt better about it. It was way better than the nightmare of a Monday I had. I also re-scheduled my next CDL test for Thursday & my wife & I spent a few hours going over the pre-trip etc.
Wednesday was interesting. We're told to show up at 8am every morning. So we do. I wasn't feeling good & left late & texted my trainer that I'd be late. I showed up about 8:25 & they "thought I was going to be late"...Uh OK. I am, but, sure. As we're waiting to get moving, the newest class is in our truck doing pre-trips, etc. All of a sudden we heard a thump & then kind of a thud. One of the new students did his 5mph test, but hit the brakes only & broke the U-joint....on the truck me & another student (now friend) are supposed to use Thursday for out tests. 1 trainer walked over to the truck, saw the damage, walked up to my Ram's window & said "Go home." He looked like his head was going to explode. I tried to tell him to calm down, etc. The rest of the morning we did nothing & I was home by 12:30.
Thursday! I showed up at 8am to see my friend test at 9am, & mine would follow. I pull in to the parking lot & there sits the truck & the u-joint is still broken & un-touched. I was hoping it would have been fixed overnight or after we left. then my trainer says "I didn't think you were going to come in". Really? Why wouldn't I? You have my phone number & we've called & texted each other before....thanks for letting me drive out here for nothing. Back home by 10:00am. & "they'll call me".......
This place has 5 trucks & just as many trailers & we're limping by on 2 trucks because "they don't have a mechanic".
So, here I sit at home typing this because nobody has called & / or nothing is fixed yet & I don't know when my CDL test will be. I haven't driven since Tuesday, & have backed up once in the last 2 weeks - no other maneuvers done.
At this point I'm just frustrated & want to take my CDL test, pass it, & get the hell out of here & get into an actual company truck.
A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:
Sorry for your run of bad luck. Unforseen things happen every day in this job, so perhaps this is good training for this. I'd be wanting to pass it on the next opportunity as well.
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Hello, This is my first post on here & first time reading the forums I think. I have had my CLP & DOT card since 9-18-17. The High Road Online CDL Training Program here on TruckingTruth REALLY helped me a LOT. I spent quite a bit of time on it & my state's CDL manual. So now, after about 3 weeks + of applications, phone calls, etc. , I think I've found the company I want to go to work (training) for. I talked to my recruiter today & if everything goes as planned, I should be starting training on Nov. 13th. I've done oil changes, grease jobs on trucks, tire repairs, trailer wash outs, but driving, not so much! I am kind of nervous about it, just trying to get everything ...I'm sure I'll make mistakes, but it's all part of learning, right? As for what company I'm going with, I had it down to 3 (I'll post who I go with once everything is finalized). The 3 are: TMC, Knight, & KC Transport. I will keep this updated as much as I can.
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:
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.
Commercial Learner's Permit
Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.