Training With Drivers Solutions In Philadelphia

Topic 22929 | Page 2

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Oak and Iron's Comment
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Days 11-15 July 16-20: Ok...third week at the school and I've kinda settled into the routine. Get to the range early, schedule says 8:30 but several of us are there earlier to chat and drink coffee. Knock out pre-trip and air brakes and get ready for the day. Most days are just waiting to try maneuvers, but with folks graduating its not as long between wait periods. Then around 5:00, everyone that hasn't already bailed on the day gets dismissed. Get back to the hotel to shower, get a bite to eat, and next thing you know its time to hit the bed and start all over again when the alarm goes off at 5:00AM. It looks like someone is testing everyday. There are a bunch of private students, independent students from wherever, those in Drivers Solutions, etc. On one particular day we had someone fail on each section of the test! (one for pre-trip, one for air brakes, one for maneuvers, and another on the road). Crazy! I lobbied to test on Friday (July 20) which would have been my first day eligible but no luck. :( I feel like I'm ready. I want to do this! I've only been able to get out on the road twice and only once on the actual course. On the test course, I hit the first right hand turn curb...instant fail! But, I made it through the rest of the course without catching a single curb...so lesson learned. I figure that if I can get out on the test course at least twice more before my test date, I'll get it locked down. Of course, I need to do it clean on one of those trips for my own confidence. Our test course covers a ton of of different driving scenarios: Industrial area, residential area, the interstate , and a heavily congested urban area. It has multiple left and right turns. Some decent straight stretches so you can shift through the gears. Oh yeah and it has some railroad tracks to cross. One thing of interest on our course, we go under 2 bridges that are marked 13' 5" hmmm... A recruiter stopped at the school this week from TMC. Unfortunately, he's not allowed to talk to any of the Driver's Solutions people about his company, but he did seem like a nice guy. A few of the independent students talked with him and seemed to like his presentation. I imagine there are several recruiters that meander through the range/school on occasion. but I haven't noticed any others. The weather has been fabulous so far. Actually, some might say its been a little too sunny for hanging out in an empty lot waiting to get in a truck. This week they are calling for rain everyday but Friday. It'll be interesting to see how that makes things work. And that's my third week's notes...I'll post again (hopefully with a test date in hand!)

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Oak and Iron's Comment
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Days 16-20 July 23-28: Fourth week of Classes. The range is basically a repeat of the previous weeks. We have some folks testing everyday...some succeed some... not so much. I feel pretty good about my chances if/when I test. At this point, that's all I'm waiting on. I just need a date. I've settled into the role as the pre-trip person for the new folks. Ange has the air brakes...and she does a great job. And Mike is helping with the maneuvers. We're all just waiting for our turn but there are only so many slots available each day. Finally on Friday afternoon I'm told I'm testing tomorrow at noon. Tomorrow? Saturday? Yep! I wasn't aware that there was testing on Saturday. I had a couple hiccups on pre-trip and air brakes (I forgot Budd rims :/ ). Maneuvers weren't award winningly beautiful but I only picked up a point so its a pass. And (if i do say so myself) I crushed the road the course. I still have to hang out here for the weekend so I can go to the office on Monday to complete paperwork and talk to my company folks but I'm ready to head out on the road.

And that's my training diary. I've tried to make it an informative read with a minimum of griping/complaining. But, there should be enough here for folks to make an informed decision about the place. Good luck and thanks for reading!

Jamie's Comment
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Congrats on getting your cdl , interesting read!

Were you learning on a manual or auto? I might have over read that if you mentioned it.

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.
Army 's Comment
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Congrats on passing. I think the hardest part for me after reading ur blog would be days after days of kinda sitting in a holding pattern or not getting the time behind the wheel you want. Even though my life has been filled with "sit-n-wait" I still dispise it lol.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Congrats on passing. I think the hardest part for me after reading ur blog would be days after days of kinda sitting in a holding pattern or not getting the time behind the wheel you want. Even though my life has been filled with "sit-n-wait" I still dispise it lol.

I can't deal with the "sit-n-wait" stuff. It drives me a little bonkers! That and a few other reasons are why I went the paid cdl training route with a small class and one-on-one training.

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.
Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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Congratulations Oak and Iron!

Old School's Comment
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I can't deal with the "sit-n-wait" stuff. It drives me a little bonkers! That and a few other reasons are why I went the paid cdl training route with a small class and one-on-one training.

Oh man, "KnowItAll" may not be such a great name for you! If you think private schooling will save you from the "sit-n-wait" game, you've got a day of reckoning coming. The whole trucking career is full of "sit-n-wait" scenarios. The pros learn to manage these interruptions as breaks that help them be more productive. The largest percentage of truckers let these interruptions drive them insane. You want to start now to determine how you will handle this issue.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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Hey KnowItAll, I just realized you're not in a private school - sorry, I missed that!

Still, you'll have to learn to deal with sit-n-wait. It's all part of this career.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

Hey KnowItAll, I just realized you're not in a private school - sorry, I missed that!

Still, you'll have to learn to deal with sit-n-wait. It's all part of this career.

"KnowItAll" is meant to be sarcastic. rofl-3.gif

Guess I should have clarified a little. Time doing actual in truck training vs standing around waiting for a turn. The expedited training program is what I think will work for me. That's point I was trying to make.

I get there is going to be waiting around. Waiting on shippers, receivers or dispatchers it going to happen. It's part of the job.

Shipper:

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.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Oak and Iron's Comment
member avatar

Thanks all!

Jamie...We had 10 speed Freightliners at the school.

Army...It looks like you and I learned to "hurry up and wait" at he same place. rofl-3.gif

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