TMC CDL (in-house) Training Day 1

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Solo's Comment
member avatar

530a - Breakfast (actually decent) made available in the hotel (paid for...well, you pay for it in your $4000 or 12month commitment that actually decreases (the $4000 that is) the longer you stay with the company).

7a - TMC bus departs the hotel and heads to the training pad

730a - Bus arrives and both the refresher guys and new CDL students pile into the cafe area where the trainers let everyone gets seated...THEN tell everyone to separate into experienced and new CDL trainees (this is that Trucker Marine Corp stuff people talk about. Having served in the Army, it's cringy having old overweight men try and come off as some sort of tough drill instructor. It's just...reminds me of high school or something).

8a - Load back into bus and head to DOT physical. We lost between 1/3 and 1/2 of our class at this point. Lost 1 guy who didn't bring his Drivers License with him.

10a - Head back to training location to conduct their tarp test. Do some dynamic stretching/warm-up. Then crawl under the trailer, balance on each foot for 30-sec. Practice 3-step lift of 80lb steel tarp and then perform graded tarp test with 120lb lumber tarp. Lift onto the shoulder and then walk down the side of the trailer and then roll/flip tarp onto the deck and push into the center of the deck. Then jump from the ground onto the trailer deck. Lift tarp back onto the shoulder and then push atop of a coil. Use 3-points of contact to walk around the coil. Drag tarp off coil back down onto trailer deck and push/roll tarp to the edge of the trailer. Get off the trailer at the very back using 3-points of contact and then walk back to the tarp, place it onto your shoulder, and then walk to behind the trailer and throw onto the ground for the next student. ( I THINK we may have lost 1 guy here as well).

11a - Climb a ladder to the top of a container that's on top of a flatbed trailer walk around, and then climb back down.

1130 - Lunch provided

12p - start doing paperwork

6p - start doing a 45min rotation on the simulator

8p - head back to the hotel, but first stop close to a place with a lot of dinner options for everyone to grab something to take back to the hotel.

9p - back at the hotel

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.

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.

Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome. TMC is on my short list and this was an excellent diary entry. Good luck and keep us posted.

Solo's Comment
member avatar

Day 2:

Same start as day one...

730: Bus arrives at the training building. We all sit down and continue to look over hours of video going over the various company and DOT rules, etc.

11a: Lunch (they provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day)

12p: Fill out the direct deposit, w4, etc. Go over % pay vs CPM pay. Go over the company benefits package they offer ($37/wk for health, dental, vision for single/no dependents), Go over Employee Stock pay, etc as well as 401k match.

1p: Still plugging along on videos

4p: They give us the option to take the 4p, 5p, or 8p bus back to the hotel...but we have to complete all of the videos, and read up on the elog system they use as we apparently will be spending most of the day going over the system tomorrow

6p: Most of the group heads over to the company's cafe next to the hotel for dinner. The mushroom swiss burger was seasoned, cooked to order, and the buns were toasted and buttered.

I think tomorrow night we'll be back in the simulators and should start driving Thurs pm, or first thing Friday AM. Sat and Sun will be all about load securement.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Solo's Comment
member avatar

(Forgot to mention on day one that they did Urine only split drug test (no hair)).

Day 3:

6 am: Same start as 1 and 2, but we left the hotel at 6 am instead of 7 am to complete company mandatory videos.

8 am: Learn the 8hr, 11hr, 14hr, 70hr lines of the Qualcomm and go over paper logs (in fact, we have a 74 question exam tomorrow covering logs only).

10 am: We signed our contracts for the 12-month commitment.

11am: Lunch

1230p: Go over the MCP device this company uses

2p: Go over scaling and trip planning

3p: Watch videos involving TMC trucks in preventable and non-preventable accidents by way of watching via front/driver facing cameras. Some of the accidents blew our minds...one driver got out of the seat while driving down the interstate to get his blue tooth off his bunk. Yup...hit a bridge guardrail and then flipped over into the woods...and that was the 2nd accident he had been involved in.

430p: We missed the 4pm bus back to the hotel, and I didn't want to wait until 6pm for the next bus, so I grabbed a lyft.

Qualcomm:

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.

Interstate:

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

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
Some of the accidents blew our minds...one driver got out of the seat while driving down the interstate to get his blue tooth off his bunk. Yup...hit a bridge guardrail and then flipped over into the woods...and that was the 2nd accident he had been involved in.

Talk about a

wtf.gif

moment.

Holy crap.

You mentioned the “mind”. The mind must always be aware that even “if” you do everything right, exercise absolute safe operation, there is always the risk of catastrophy. Always.

I just wrote a reply on the diary preceeding yours addressing what relaxed really means...take a look if you are interested.

Good luck. Learn from the moronic, and unconscionable, stupid mistakes of others. The dude on that camera event? He should thank God everyday he is alive and that he didn’t end the life of others.

Interstate:

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

The Boss's Comment
member avatar

I was considering TMC because I heard a lot of good things about their company. Flat bedding is intriguing and I like challenges. Do you think the extended time, effort and risk is worth doing flatbed? I wonder what experienced drivers feel about flatbed vs dry van? Is it worth the money?Do you like the people in the company that you have met? Does TMC put a lot of emphasis on safety?

I wonder if in the past trucking companies put so much time, money and effort to get truckers out on the road?

(Forgot to mention on day one that they did Urine only split drug test (no hair)).

Day 3:

6 am: Same start as 1 and 2, but we left the hotel at 6 am instead of 7 am to complete company mandatory videos.

8 am: Learn the 8hr, 11hr, 14hr, 70hr lines of the Qualcomm and go over paper logs (in fact, we have a 74 question exam tomorrow covering logs only).

10 am: We signed our contracts for the 12-month commitment.

11am: Lunch

1230p: Go over the MCP device this company uses

2p: Go over scaling and trip planning

3p: Watch videos involving TMC trucks in preventable and non-preventable accidents by way of watching via front/driver facing cameras. Some of the accidents blew our minds...one driver got out of the seat while driving down the interstate to get his blue tooth off his bunk. Yup...hit a bridge guardrail and then flipped over into the woods...and that was the 2nd accident he had been involved in.

430p: We missed the 4pm bus back to the hotel, and I didn't want to wait until 6pm for the next bus, so I grabbed a lyft.

Qualcomm:

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.

Interstate:

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

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Solo's Comment
member avatar

I was considering TMC because I heard a lot of good things about their company. Flat bedding is intriguing and I like challenges. Do you think the extended time, effort and risk is worth doing flatbed? I wonder what experienced drivers feel about flatbed vs dry van? Is it worth the money?Do you like the people in the company that you have met? Does TMC put a lot of emphasis on safety?

I wonder if in the past trucking companies put so much time, money and effort to get truckers out on the road?

double-quotes-start.png

(Forgot to mention on day one that they did Urine only split drug test (no hair)).

Day 3:

6 am: Same start as 1 and 2, but we left the hotel at 6 am instead of 7 am to complete company mandatory videos.

8 am: Learn the 8hr, 11hr, 14hr, 70hr lines of the Qualcomm and go over paper logs (in fact, we have a 74 question exam tomorrow covering logs only).

10 am: We signed our contracts for the 12-month commitment.

11am: Lunch

1230p: Go over the MCP device this company uses

2p: Go over scaling and trip planning

3p: Watch videos involving TMC trucks in preventable and non-preventable accidents by way of watching via front/driver facing cameras. Some of the accidents blew our minds...one driver got out of the seat while driving down the interstate to get his blue tooth off his bunk. Yup...hit a bridge guardrail and then flipped over into the woods...and that was the 2nd accident he had been involved in.

430p: We missed the 4pm bus back to the hotel, and I didn't want to wait until 6pm for the next bus, so I grabbed a lyft.

double-quotes-end.png

As somebody who currently runs 4+ miles every morning and goes to the gym every day, Flatbed was my only option/hope to be able to maintain any type of activity level.

As for TMC...they are 100% about safety. Their securement standards are 150+% of load, instead of 50% per DOT reg.

As for the people being nice...it's not that they aren't nice, but they aren't treating their new hires like best friends, but they aren't being complete *******s to us either. It's my understanding that once you pass DOT CDL test, their treatment of you vastly changes.

All that being said, would I recommend TMC just off my first 4-days, yes I would. Very professional outfit.

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.

Qualcomm:

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.

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.

Interstate:

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

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Solo's Comment
member avatar

Day 4:

630a: We go over final benefits

8a: We take 74 question HOS exam

11a: Lunch

12p: We start our securement training

430p: We get split up into 3 groups Sims, Straight Line Backing (Our first time being in the trucks), and Demo of the truck/trailer on the pad

530p: My group moves from Sims to the pad where each of us got to complete the straight line, offset, and parallel parking piece of the exam and it was awesome. Gave me a LOT of confidence to be able to do the maneuvers at night with very little/no light without hitting a cone, and actually start this portion of the training Monday morning with the sun up.

730p: They feed us at the training center.

830p: Back to the hotel.

Today we go out with a trainer and drive on back country roads until lunch, and then load securement the rest of the day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I've been following your diary with interest. TMC was among my top choices when applying for companies. For whatever reason they never responded to my application. Not that it mattered, I'm perfectly happy where I am.

Flatbed was my only option/hope to be able to maintain any type of activity level

That's exactly why I also chose flatbed. It isn't nearly as physical as I'd hoped however. I make it more so by doing a few extra lifts of the tarps, some creative exercises with the chains, dumbbells in the truck, and I even do some intense cardio stuff a couple times a day. I know, crazy right?

Running though? The only way you'll get me to run is if you're chasing me lol. Even then I think I'd rather just turn to face you.

Their securement standards are 150+% of load, instead of 50% per DOT reg.

I like that. Personally I maintain a 100% securement standard at minimum on each and every load, usually higher. The few extra minutes it takes for peace of mind are totally worth it.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I also look forward to following your journey. I'll tell ya things are going to get even more real soon! They're being nice to you and taking you in the back country roads first. We've had a couple other guys do a diary about their school and they'd mentioned they went onto Ankeny Blvd (which I'm sure eventually you'll see) their first day of driving. It isn't a terrible road by any means just alot of stop lights and in my experience they tend to drive like A**hats even more up there. Just curious are they training you guys with sticks or autos? Eventually they'll be taking you downtown Des Moines, it's easy to feel overwhelmed but remember they wouldn't take you there if they didnt feel you can handle it. I see tmc students every day and those I've talked to talk about how great it is.

Turtle says :

It isn't nearly as physical as I'd hoped however.

Plenty of jobs in food service.......smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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