After Completing Company Training: My Review

Topic 24093 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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Ok, not quite done with company training. Still have a week OTR with my Training Engineer (Schneider). But I completed two weeks of classroom and driving instruction. I'm just giving my observations here, your experience may be different, so file this in the "for whatever it's worth" category. Qualifier: I'm 66 and was a teacher in my previous occupation, so I know good teaching when I see it. Some of this I've already posted but repetition for emphasis is a good thing. Class started with 12 students. Only 4 finished. Be aware! I was highly impressed by the trainers, instructors and personnel at the training center in Green Bay. The custodian, Bruce, was very professional and helpful. These guys never get accolades but Bruce was a great ambassador for the company. That's got to tell you something about the overall culture. Now for my list: 1) If you go into company training, don't expect it to be a cakewalk. It's long days, intense days, fast paced and demanding. If it's not, either the program is not the best or you are a super person. Be prepared to get up at 4:30 am and work your butt off until you can't keep your eyes open any longer. If you get a day off, you have homework and assignments to complete. So, be prepared mentally, emotionally and physically. Follow instructions to the letter. If they tell you to bring a highlighter and lead pencil, they tell you this for a reason. 2) Make sure you are proficient in the English language. We had a number of students who spoke several languages, one even spoke 6 languages, but some of those had trouble with reading and thinking in English. They were all great people, trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. But there were a lot of written tests and some failed because they struggled with English. I was so sad to see this happen. Not one of the foreign born students made it to the end. 3) For goodness sakes, DO NOT argue with your instructors, especially your road trainers. Abide by these 2 rules: 1) Your instructor is ALWAYS right. 2) IF your instructor is ever wrong, see rule #1. My roommate, who I got to like a lot, argued with two road trainers. He was told he hit a curb, for example, and he was certain he didn't. So he argued. Who was wrong? HE was, of course. But why argue? Just say sorry and drive on. Then it progressed from a bad attitude to paranoia. Towards the end he believed his trainers wanted him to fail and they were determined to bounce him out of the program. This was crazy. All instructors are there to help you to succeed, not fail. The company invests a lot of money in each student, so they WANT you to succeed. DON'T be your own worst enemy. 4) TRY TO QUIT SMOKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm a non smoker, but I had to be in the vicinity of smokers my entire two weeks. Yes, I always tried to get upwind, but I still couldn't escape all the second hand smoke. Think about your smoking and connect it with CANCER and HEART ATTACK and ABBREVIATED CAREER. That's enough for now. Probably more coming later.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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*like

Pete M.'s Comment
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Bruce K, Good advice! Have a great Christmas!

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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Definitely good advice.

And long before the heart attack or cancer, are the years of chronic bronchitis, respiratory and sinus infections, pneumonia, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a multitude of other illnesses, all a direct result of smoking.

I’m in my fifth (at least, I’ve lost count) attempt at quitting. I THINK I’m going to make it this time. Chantix and nicotine gum, for the curious. I’ve quit for a year twice, and started back. Take my word, you cannot just have a couple during the current rough patch and then quit again.

I don’t know how many times I had some respiratory illness and thought, this is it, I’m going to suffocate this time. Of all the ways to die, in my opinion, this is probably the worst, except maybe fire. Though maybe not. I’ve heard the nerve endings die quickly and the pain ends, or the smoke will likely kill you first. You are aware of every second of gasping for breath, trying to get enough air. Wondering if your heart can take the stress of not being able to breathe. Coughing so hard you pass out.

My final wake up call is when I coughed so hard in the bathroom in the middle of the night I passed out, fell like a tree in the forest. Smashed through the linen closet doors, and was laying on the floor unable to move. Except I was aware of where I was. I remember thinking, crap, I’m dead.

I was strangely OK with being dead, but felt an immense sadness that I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye and tell my loved ones how much they mean to me. I made it a point to tell everyone the next day.

Eventually I was able to move a little and tried to get up, and immediately fell again. That time my wife woke up, and when I didn’t answer she came and found me.

Sorry for the long story, but just maybe it will help one of you quit. I hope so. I think about that night every time I want to smoke.

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.

Peter M.'s Comment
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Great overview. Your professionalism is shining through! Keep up the good work. I look forward to your updates.

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