Houston Community College CDL School

Topic 22303 | Page 11

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Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Well I checked into the hotel at 14:00. Now I'm bored bored bored! Tomorrow at 06:30 begins the paperwork and physical day of orientation.

Old School's Comment
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Now I'm bored bored bored!

Hold tight... there's plenty of excitement headed your way!

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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Well last week there was a lot of frustration until I got up the hill.

We had to pass a backing and driving observation before being able to go out with a TE. I had never done 45 degree backing, so I had to have a lot of guidance to even do it.

Then with that frustrating me, I had to drive in south Dallas and I just got worse and murdered a whole bunch of curves. After an hour I just wanted to get out of the truck. It was just pure awful driving.

Then the next day, Friday came around. If I couldn't do it then then who knows what would come. I had to redo backing and had a lot of struggle 3 times in a row. Next students term and I felt like horse **** while waiting to go again.

Then it was my turn. I tried to do it, and when I saw everything was going perfect and I got it in there for straight line, I almost screamed hell yeah I got this one. Second time I did it, I got it perfect in 4.5 minutes. Never felt so good before.

Then when it was my turn to drive, I think I did it really well. I didn't hit any curbs (swung too wide but he preferred that ovet too narrow), and I got the truck in 10th gear withot worrying what if I mess up and stuck in neutral on I-20.

Later in the day, he gave me my progress report points. Schneider requires 25 errors or less to move on. He said if you get under 10 you're a damn near genious. I got 11 that day.

There are so many hills in south dallas not rolling back is a must. Also, in the terminal's parking lot, before I took off, I thought the truck to my right was pulling out. Haha no. It was me going back.

I now wait for the next week of real otr to start in an hour or two.


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.


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.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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At the terminal. Pick up empty trailer, can't go out with it they say it needs maintenance.

TE decides to go to some yard a ways towards our costco pickup where she knows there's an empty. We do that and head a mile to costco. I pick it up and it's 42,000 lbs of stuff.

Then it's I-20 to 35E south to Austin 210 miles away. When I arrive at that costco, we have to drop our trailer, pick up the empty, move the empty, re-hook to our furniture load, move it into the dock, then uncouple that and pick up the empty. My driving done for the day, and the other student heads to San Antonion where we go to our hotel.

Lots of coupling and tandem slides today. My shifting sucks when approaching interchange exits for ramps.


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.


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".

Army 's Comment
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Great to hear you are logging miles....I enjoy following your training but I am trying to understand how your training is going? So you have a trainer, another student and yourself? If that is the case, are you 3 staying somewhat local to the Texas area? Reason I ask if because I think your posts are the first that I have read after you have a CDL , that its more than just the trainee and the trainer.

Either way, its nice to see you putting your skills to work.

Safe Travels Chris


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.


Operating While Intoxicated

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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I feel schneider doesn't have enough trainers, so it's a female trainer and 2 male trainees. She's a regional driver, so we're doing just about 750 miles from Dallas but she also said sometimes she goes to Indiana.


Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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My first 4+ hour live load! Still waiting. Kind of have to pee. I'm hungry.


Army 's Comment
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Haha, well dont think of waterfalls and rivers..lol.

Yuuyo Y.'s Comment
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So last week was an adventure to say the least. The first issue we had was picking up a trailer from a terminal - when we tried going out the gate, it turns out it was scheduled for maintenance.

But the trainer knew a drop yard on the way to the shipper where we got an empty from. Then we went to the shipper, drop and hooked, and I had to head down to Austin.

The next day we started in San Antonio (There are two students in the truck.) We picked up at an HEB yard that was dusty as hell, and she had me back the empty and pick up the paper. I drove from San Antonio to Houston, around 99 then a few miles up on 69.

We ended at the paper plant near Nachitoches LA. But oh no, we can't drop and hook nor drop and bobtail out becaude they have too many trailers. So we got a 30 minute live unload at the paper plant, and had to get a hotel nearby in Nachitoches not Alexandria. Since this wasn't planned we had to wait until nearly 01:00 to get our room.

The next day we did another drop and hook in Alexandria and headed back to Dallas.

From there we went to West Memphis AK for a relay, and the next day was almost spent not moving. Two live loads. One in Memphis and one in northern MS. Man, finding the shipper in Memphis was a bit of a challenge it was so hidden.

We ended up stopping at West Memphis because our hours worked better starting from the next morning.

I drove the next morning from Texarkana to Desoto, and the Dallas traffic on 635 was something else. Two accidents on both sides with people doing stupid weaving and other crap right next to a big ass truck.

When we got to the walmart distribution centre, I could pull straight through to drop but she had me back it with a 45 anyways.

On Sunday I woke up with a sore throat and mucus, and by the evening I was out with cold shakes and sweating everywhere. This morning I hardly felt better, but had to go to class anyways. I almost didn't go, but the shakes and muscle weakness had gone away so I had to deal with my throat this whole day.

The only interesting things I can remember on the road were me stalling the 77k gross truck at a light up an incline. 2nd gear was too high. Oh and Tx-34 around Dallas to I-30 really sucks. Stoplights at the bottom of hills and only one lane and all these curves bleh.

I thought I did the same throughout the week, but she said I was doing better eah day - which I didn't feel.

I don't have any complains so far, just that we habe a final skills test soon and whenever I think about it, it feels like I don't know how to even drive the truck anymore.


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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Aren't Walmart distribution centers wonderful? I've been to two of them 8 hours at one, and 5 hours at another. I'm on a load right now from Indianapolis to Temple Texas, another Walmart distribution center. Went to pick up the load this morning, one of the tires on the trailer were flat, then they held me for one more pallet to add since I was still there. Tommorow I get to experience Dallas...

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