McElroy Truck Lines Orientation

Topic 21670 | Page 1

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The Flying Fireman's Comment
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I begin orientation tomorrow morning at 7:00 in the Ennis, Texas location. McElroy has provided the LaQuinta Inn for the hotel. We will be here for two weeks before going on the road with our trainers.

I’ll try to give daily updates for those interested.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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Post away! I'm sure lots of us will enjoy reading your updates., not just myself.good-luck.gif

Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
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Please do! I’m a year or less away and avidly read every diary update every day.

The Flying Fireman's Comment
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DAYS 1 and 2 have been similar. We start every morning at 7:00. The first day consisted of a lot of paperwork, providing hair and urine samples and taking a physical agility test. We also watched a few safety videos, took quizes and also did some cbt. (computer based testing) We went outside and looked at some live loads and did some tarp unfolding and folding. We ended the day a little after 5:00 to return to our hotel to finish up homework for the day.

The 2nd day began with a DOT physical first thing, and then we began classroom training which consisted of more videos, cbt, logbook exercises and an introduction to the Qualcomm. Being organized and being able to manage your time seem to be important traits to make orientation and training less painful. I am enjoying this process so far and am very happy with my choice. The drivers and office staff have all been very friendly here at McElroy.

McElroy recently increased their Texas orientation and training pay to $750.00 a week. Not too shabby.

It is late, so I gave a very brief overview of the first two days but will be more than happy to answer any questions.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.


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.


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.

Roy B (Giddy) 's Comment
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Can you describe the agility testing, lifting the 120 pound tarp has me a little concerned

The Flying Fireman's Comment
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Hey Roy B. I will describe the physical agility test to the best of my memory. It’s been a full week!

Obviously the physical agility test is designed to ensure you can perform the tasks required of a flatbed driver. They first took my resting blood pressure and pulse. I then stood on one leg for 30 seconds, then stood on the other leg for 30 seconds. I then moved to the next station. It was a table where I was required to go to each corner, squat down and read a number that was placed underneath the table. You go around the table twice and then they take your pulse.

The next station is a step ladder where I went up two rungs, then down and then climbed up on a table on my knees. You do this 10 times and then they take your pulse. (Your pulse is taken after every event). The next event is unfolding and folding a blanket on the ground (tarp folding). Their are two stations where you pull and push about 100 pounds on a weight machine. (only about 6 inches)

The last exercise was lifting the tarps up onto a 5 foot shelf. There were a total of 3 tarps, a small, medium and large. (25, 50, 110 lbs) You first lift the tarp up onto a waist level shelf (simulates the truck tire), and then flip the tarp up and over onto the top shelf. (that simulates the trailer).

The test wasn’t bad at all. I am not a big, strong, young guy. I am 5’7, almost 50 years old and am not the specimen of physical fitness. If I could do it, so can you.


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.

Grandma Day's Comment
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I look forward to reading the rest of you journey.

Deke's Comment
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Any updates?

The Flying Fireman's Comment
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Sorry for the delayed response as I have been fairly busy with orientation and training. I will give a quick recap of weeks one and two.

Week 1 - New hire paperwork, drug testing (hair follicle & urine), physical agility test and dot physical. We watched several training videos and took quizzes after each one. There was also a 100 question test that was given to us on Monday and we had all week to complete. We practiced backing and coupling and uncoupling trailers and took a road test on Thursday.

Week 2 - More videos and quizzes, more backing practice and more driving. McElroy teaches the Smith system to its drivers so the more familiar you are with that, the more ahead of the game you will be. We took another road test and had two conference calls with safety trainers out of Cuba, Alabama. On Friday we met our over the road trainers and had the opportunity to talk with them a bit. We finished up on Fridays around 11:00 for the weekend. I leave out with my trainer on Monday so wish me luck.

I can say that I made the right choice with McElroy. The training has been top notch and the drivers and trainers that I’ve met over the past two weeks are all friendly, helpful and happy to be working for MTL, and I think that speaks volumes for the company. If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer when I get the chance.

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.


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.

RandyinNC's Comment
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I guess you are on the road with you trainer at this point, any updates?

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