TMC Newbie Diary

Topic 21972 | Page 1

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Dan H.'s Comment
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Good morning! I am now going to school at TMC. I start on March 5th. I just got my CDL permit. I was in the army for 8 years and have been Jumping around from job to job. I've had 5 jobs in the last 5 years and I need something that's stable and that I can deal with. I looked all over and did a whole bunch of homework before I finally decided on doing the TMC CDL program. I was accepted earlier this week and I got my permit earlier this week. I look forward to updating you guys on my classes as I do them and thank you for all the support this site has been awesome.

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.
Nighthawk's Comment
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Awesome! Congrats on starting your new journey :)

Dan H.'s Comment
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I start March 5th. I can't wait! I live local to the training center so I won't have to stay in a hotel.

Rob T.'s Comment
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I start March 5th. I can't wait! I live local to the training center so I won't have to stay in a hotel.

That's great news! Not sure if your aware but there was a diary written here not too long ago from a member by the name of Ithel that attended TMC school. Reading that may allow you an opportunity to see what to expect from them. Look forward to following along in your journey.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan H.'s Comment
member avatar

So I start on Monday! I'm nervous and excited at the same time! It was a headache for real getting all the paperwork in line. Apparently because my psychiatrist is "only" a PharmD (doctorate in applied pharmacy) she isn't qualified as a doctor for TMC as far as whether or not my meds are working. I had to get an actual MD to write a letter saying I am responding well to my meds. (None of them are disqualifying thank god.) Thankfully the VA here in Iowa rocks and they had the director of mental health write me a letter on the spot! I'll keep you guys updated! Early day monday!

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I look forward to following along. Before I'd landed the gig i have i actually was really considering TMC. I can assure you that many people will be following along even if your not getting many comments on your thread. STAY OFF THE GRASS! I hear they're really strict about following ALL the rules (rightfully so).

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan H.'s Comment
member avatar

I look forward to following along. Before I'd landed the gig i have i actually was really considering TMC. I can assure you that many people will be following along even if your not getting many comments on your thread. STAY OFF THE GRASS! I hear they're really strict about following ALL the rules (rightfully so).

Haha being prior military I habitually stay off the grass!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dan H.'s Comment
member avatar

First day down. Lots of paperwork. Most of today was the DOT physical and the physical assessment. It was a lot of fun watching grown men throw our bodies up on a flatbed trailer!

DOT:

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.

Dan H.'s Comment
member avatar

Days 2 and 3

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, was exhausted by the time I got home. Both of our days were spent in the classroom finishing the orientation videos and taking basic tests required for our CDL. I'm glad to say that I have passed all of the tests so far! Tomorrow we start our load decrement training and start our simulator training. Not complaining too much about not being in a truck so far... it's been cold outside. Wish me luck on the sim!

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.
Dan H.'s Comment
member avatar

Days 4 and 5 Day 4 we started our Load securement training. Watched a few videos of what NOT to do. We also were introduced to the basic tools that we will use while securing loads. In the afternoon we split my class of six into 2 groups. Half of us in the simulator, other half got into the trucks and practiced straight line backing. The simulators... Are ok... but they definitely do not compare to the real thing. Out on the lot with the straight line backing was fun, proud to say I didn't hit a cone. Our instructor in the daytime is very intense when you hit a cone, but when you think that the cones represent trucks or other obstacles, it makes sense.

Day 5 in the morning we went out on the road for the first time with a trainer. We started off in the back roads where we practiced upshiftong and down shifting. Once the trainers thought we were good enough they take us through town, exposing us to real life hazards. I did ok... but I did hit a curb which is an automatic fail. I need to practice my down shifting.. when I stress out it gets worse! When I'm relaxed my trainer said I drive like a pro (I'm sure he is lieing!) But when I start to tense up I grind gears like a meat grinder.

Today is load securement all day, we will be practicing on our typical loads all day long.

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