Starting CDL Training With KC Transportation

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Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

It happens... all you can do is roll with the punches I guess.

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.good-luck.gif

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

I have to say this week was better than last week. The weather has been really annoying & not helping things much. Anyways, Thursday I had my 2nd CDL test. Finally scraped by on my pre-trip; the in-cab I had issues with near the end. I'm going to sum it up to nerves, but I did NOT forget my air loss test this time lol. For the next part of my test, it was on to maneuvers. Easy enough, straight line backed fine, did fine on the offset, then I went to do my alley dock (90). You're allowed 2 get-outs so I backed it in...a little crooked so I got out & looked where I was. I continued & at some point got out again, knocked over 1 cone with the front bumper & got into position....after I think 3 pull-ups. I finally backed in & heard the tester say "pull forward". So I assumed we were going to the road test portion. & I pulled forward about 10 feet until the tester asked me where I was going. I said "I thought we were going on the road next?" He informed me that my bumper was just over the cones & that he was trying to tell me to pull up just a little because I was 'out of bounds'. After my pull ups & bumping the cone & being so far off, I failed my 90 & end of test again. I re-scheduled my 3rd test for Saturday......could I just pass already?! Out of my class of 3, I was the only one left who hadn't passed. My other friend from class went after me & passed everything on his first try. I came back the next day to practice again. It had snowed overnight & they weren't expecting me to show up. No driving that day. Saturday came & my test was at 11am. I was the only one there with one of my trainers. I did maneuvers & a few 90s, then we drove around for about 20 minutes. I came back & started my 3rd CDL test. Maneuvers went fine & no screw up on the 90 this time. Then came the road test. I thought I did pretty good. We went on the freeway, surface streets, turns, checked bridge heights, lane changes, all the basic stuff. near the end of the road test, I realized I was going to be going down a steeper hill & back up (I had driven on it once). I made the light at the bottom of the hill & decided to leave it in the same gear going down as up as I was moving along fine & decided not to rock the boat... Then we got back & parked the truck. I nervously asked how I did. The tester said "Well you failed..." I was about to say "How in the....??". & he continued his sentence & said "to fail..." (You failed to fail). FINALLY! I passed & got my certificate. We shook hands & he congratulated me. After that, my trainer drove up & I told him I passed. He opened his door & gave me a fist bump, then got up/out, shook my hand & gave me a hug. (Wasn't really expecting that!). I thanked him for all his help. I got back in the truck, parked it & drove back home. I showed my wife the certificate when she got home (we said hi to each other, & talked a little before I showed her). She was happier than I was & started crying... didn't really want her to cry, but...lol. So this part is DONE. Now I have to go to the DMV Tuesday & turn in my certificate & get my endorsement. & I have to take the hazmat test...which I am not looking forward to... some of it might as well be in Greek. Thanks for reading!

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Simon D. (Grandpa)'s Comment
member avatar

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Big congratulations!! 👍

Great feeling, ain't it? 😀

And; Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Simon

Ithel's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations. My test is the day after tomorrow. I'm about as ready as I can be, but I've still got some anxiety. Glad it all worked out for you.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Well done! Congratulations!

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you! Glad it's over with, & all the waiting / stress is gone.

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Big congratulations!! 👍

Great feeling, ain't it? 😀

And; Happy New Year!

Cheers,

Simon

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, the in cab was (for me) the hardest part. Here you have to take the test in order; pre-trip, maneuvers, road test. So if you fail the pre-trip (like I did), you're screwed & can't take the other 2 parts. Once you get that down, the rest of the test is pretty easy.

Congratulations. My test is the day after tomorrow. I'm about as ready as I can be, but I've still got some anxiety. Glad it all worked out for you.

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

Another update - I haven't driven in... 10? days or more. I had been waiting on my company to call - which was fine as I was battling a cold anyways. But we finally got down there last Thursday & had to do another (post?) orientation with the same safety videos, etc. as the very first orientation. Then they explained the Qualcomm , & we had to pick Local or OTR training (we get 2 weeks of each). I went with Local. The company emailed me back with my local driver's name # (& also the OTR one I'll have). Also in the email was a link to a website with MORE training / videos.

Not doing great on the Endorsement tests either... Hazmat I've taken twice (I need this one), both times I failed it.... I believe by 1 question each time. This is frustrating because the only "hazardous" things we haul are airbags & car batteries. So you have to know the WHOLE thing & it's confusing (to me). & I've read my state's CDL manual I don't know how many times about it. Also took the Tanker endorsement test. It's all of 2-3 pages in my state's manual. Failed that too, got 70% (you need 80% to pass). This one I read up on once, maybe twice. Doubles & Triples I actually passed. I really didn't read up on it much either.

A classmate actually encouraged me to get the endorsements. It made sense as you don't have to pay for the endorsement UNTIL you pass it. Also if I ever need the other endorsements, I'll have them & I won't have to spend time waiting at the DMV. Plus I'm already there at the DMV anyways (I drive an hour or so to one out in the sticks where there's hardly ever any lines).

That's it for now... I have to call my trainer & I'm assuming I'll be starting on Monday!

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Another update - I haven't driven in... 10? days or more. I had been waiting on my company to call - which was fine as I was battling a cold anyways. But we finally got down there last Thursday & had to do another (post?) orientation with the same safety videos, etc. as the very first orientation. Then they explained the Qualcomm , & we had to pick Local or OTR training (we get 2 weeks of each). I went with Local. The company emailed me back with my local driver's name # (& also the OTR one I'll have). Also in the email was a link to a website with MORE training / videos.

Not doing great on the Endorsement tests either... Hazmat I've taken twice (I need this one), both times I failed it.... I believe by 1 question each time. This is frustrating because the only "hazardous" things we haul are airbags & car batteries. So you have to know the WHOLE thing & it's confusing (to me). & I've read my state's CDL manual I don't know how many times about it. Also took the Tanker endorsement test. It's all of 2-3 pages in my state's manual. Failed that too, got 70% (you need 80% to pass). This one I read up on once, maybe twice. Doubles & Triples I actually passed. I really didn't read up on it much either.

A classmate actually encouraged me to get the endorsements. It made sense as you don't have to pay for the endorsement UNTIL you pass it. Also if I ever need the other endorsements, I'll have them & I won't have to spend time waiting at the DMV. Plus I'm already there at the DMV anyways (I drive an hour or so to one out in the sticks where there's hardly ever any lines).

That's it for now... I have to call my trainer & I'm assuming I'll be starting on Monday!

I'd suggest giving the high road training program on this site a look. High Road CDL Training Program

Many people have had great success passing their tests after using it. Good luck, look forward to hearing more about your experiences

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

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.

Mike O.'s Comment
member avatar

This past week was my first in training with the company. I decided to do local training first. I honestly can't wait until it's over with. My day starts with getting up at about 4:30am, driving about 45 minutes to get to work, then we usually get on the road just before 6am. I am NOT a morning person, so, this takes some getting used to. My trainer is an older gentleman who's been with the company over 20 years. At first we didn't say too much to each other, day 2 he was on my ass about pretty much everything it seemed....which was frustrating. At the same time he'd tell me it was my 1st or 2nd day (depending on what day it was) & I'm learning. Yet he'd still be on my ass about something. I couldn't even keep my gloves on the floor between the seats because he thought it'd be easier if I didn't have to reach down in that direction (ok???)... so I kept them on top of the fire extinguisher between my seat & the door... The 3rd day (yesterday) was good. I thought I finally got him figured out & we were talking & laughing & joking around for most of the day.

Then today happened.

It started off OK. We joked a little bit, then it came time for me to back into a dock. Which I'm not great at...when I do my "loop" to position myself to back in, the trailer is often off at an angle. (I have been fighting this for a while). I usually end up doing a 90 to get into the dock. As I was trying to re-position the truck, I had the trailer crooked & had to do a couple of pull-ups. & I guess we both got mad. He started getting kind of loud with me, so I got loud back. I told him I was starting to get P***ed off. But he kept prying, so I got out of the truck & told him that he could move it & I'm not driving it accompanied by a few other descriptive 4 letter words. I walked into the plant we were at to cool off a little & went & bought a Pepsi...took a few minutes & went back out to see him drop the trailer. I put the gear down & unhooked the lines. Then he parked in front of the trailer we were picking up & shut the truck off. Then came toward me. I have to admit I was starting to get ready for a fight.

He asked me if I was going to drive the truck, I said No, I can't drive for s___ (obviously), & I'll ask for a different trainer on Monday & if they don't have or won't give me one, then I'll just quit. & I told him I was sick of him bi**hing at me & I can't do anything right. He looked pretty surprised. So I started walking away. I was going to go to a shopping center next door & call a cab to go to the yard to pick my Ram up & go home. Then he called me, so I turned around & we kind of went back & forth arguing. Nothing violent, just some raised voices. He also asked why I pulled way up in the space in front of the dock. I said, "YOU told me that if there is space...use it!" His reply was "I'm trying to make it easier", etc. He tried telling me he had complemented me 3 times today on backing up. I said "What truck were you in?" Not that I'm looking for complements but I never heard any of that. About 10 minutes later we were back in the truck & I was behind the wheel again. Though I didn't want to be. The last 2 hours or so of the day was fairly quiet. he tried a few times to talk to me about a few things, but, I was still kind of mad & not having it & just drove & answered any questions as simply as I could.

Then we got to our next plant & pulled into another dock. This one is easier than the other, so I backed in & he reminded me about sliding the tandems & the doors which I had forgotten about since I was concentrating on backing up. He laughed & said he didn't want to de-rail me. OK. Fair enough. After I did that, I backed in without much problem, so I got out to drop the trailer. He asked me "Are you coming back on Monday?" I said "I don't know", got out & finished the drop.

Eventually we drove back to the yard. The whole way, he was being nicer than usual, but I still wasn't really having it. We went into dispatch, turned in out sheets, & he asked me again if he'd see me Monday. I said "you never know", turned around & walked to my truck & left. I can't imagine he's too happy with me. The company probably doesn't know about any of this (yet)..& if they do, well, they do. I told my wife about the whole incident too & she's not happy with me either & won't talk to me. I'm really batting 1.000 today... Will I go back? Probably. I don't mind the driving, but the main holdup is I'd have to pay the company $5000 back for school fees if I quit. If that wasn't an issue, I'd probably go work somewhere else.

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".

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.
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