TMC CDL (in-house) Training Day 1

Topic 24229 | Page 7

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Turtle's Comment
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You're really getting a good test of your grit up there. Welcome to flatbedding!

When you finally come down to where it's warm you'll have a new appreciation for rolling tarps in fair weather. Keep on kickin it!

G-Town's Comment
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Those 2019 12-spds w/ the smart steering wheel (Just cruise, high idle, stereo controls) are a DREAM to drive. I'll pass on the 9-sp manual, 10 spd auto, and take a 12-spd auto, please =)

Once you master this system, you’ll never miss an 8, 10 or super 10 manual. I’ve worked with the 12sp auto-shift for over 3 years now...no looking back!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Solo's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

Those 2019 12-spds w/ the smart steering wheel (Just cruise, high idle, stereo controls) are a DREAM to drive. I'll pass on the 9-sp manual, 10 spd auto, and take a 12-spd auto, please =)

double-quotes-end.png

Once you master this system, you’ll never miss an 8, 10 or super 10 manual. I’ve worked with the 12sp auto-shift for over 3 years now...no looking back!

WHILE NOT LIKELY, there is a small chance that we'll have to move our stuff out of our truck today, and into one of these new trucks, we brought back this week. All trainers have to move to Auto's by the summertime since TMC's CDL school will be full auto by summertime, so my trainer says he may as well switch now, and stop fighting the change. I would LOVE that.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Week 2 (of 5) OTR training in the books:

So for those that aren't sure how TMC operates so that you can try and be home on Friday, they have you make a 7 am delivery on Friday am, and then dispatch you to a pick-up with a Monday 7 am delivery time.

Since I don't have a home, TMC puts me up in a hotel near my trainers home. He picked me up at 11 am this past Sunday, and we headed to where his truck is parked on the weekends. We. Were. Stuck. The ice was thick (they had 15" of snow on the ground) but had melted over the weekend, and thus the truck sunk into some ruts we couldn't rock ourself out of, so we had to use some shovels, salt, and securement chains for traction.

1 hour later we're free and rolling down the road towards MN. With TMC, you want to be close to your Monday delivery by 9 pm, so that you get "Parking Points" (Points are earned through various means, and more points = higher % pay per load), and a 10-hour reset.

2 hours into our 6-hour drive and we're in some THICK fog. I've been in thick fog before, just not for 4 solid hours. We make it to our consignee and it's 40 degrees and raining. We wake up at 530 am and it had snowed overnight and was now 10 degrees with a -8 feels like. Needless to say, EVERYTHING was frozen and there are gale force winds. The ground, the straps, the tarp...everything.

Have an hour or so we're unloaded and an hour after that, we're dispatched back to Des Moines for truck/trailer service. Above I've posted about the 3.5 days we were in Des Moines, so I'll skip to yesterday. We're dispatched to a Lowes DC for a trailer swap (WE JUST had our new trailer serviced, and pick up an old benson). We're 160lbs overweight, but I decide to keep rolling and the only weigh station along our route was closed.

Arrived at our Lowes store consignee last night and it's freezing cold and 40mph+ sustained winds. The truck was rocking and rolling...I knew the tarps were going to turn into sails in the am.

530 we are up. By 6 we're outside breaking down the securement and yup..tarps are frozen and wanting to take flight. 655a we're back in the truck and looking forward to our 7 am unload...Nope, 10am worked better for them. We finally get out of there by 11am and head to our Friday PM shipper before dropping me off at the hotel this afternoon for the weekend. We'll head back out on Sunday, and head towards TN.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

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.
Victor 's Comment
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How big are the tarps and how much do they weight?

Solo's Comment
member avatar

How big are the tarps and how much do they weight?

100lb dry for the steel and 125lb dry for the lumber.

2 of each and they ~20ft long

My tarps have either been completely soaked or totally frozen adding a ton more weight.

Solo's Comment
member avatar

Week 3 (of 5) of OTR training in the books:

A little over 3100 miles this week in the books and that gets me back on the 2k mi/wk avg they'd like trainees to have during their 5-week training. Lost 3.5 days of clock when the truck was down for service, and this lack of mileage by the end of my 5 weeks could have resulted in me being moved to a new trainer for 1 additional week of training (My trainer is going on vacation at the end of our 5 weeks), so hopefully we're good there.

We started the week out at -11 Minnesota, and finished-up this morning in 63 degrees Tennessee.

Again, it needs to be noted that TMC DOES dispatch you as a team at the start of week 3 of OTR training (The reviews here for their CDL school AND TMC recruiters do advertise it as a solo-dispatch training...it is not. The trainer can call training coord and ask to "Turn team dispatch off", but the trainers make GREAT money running trainees + two clocks, so I'm guessing it doesn't happen often, if at all).

A couple of things that became apparent this week is that you are driving your face off each day/night to try and keep a 5 load per week and home on Friday schedule. With these trucks running 62mph and the amount of time needed to secure/break-down a load + loading/unloading time, I'm looking forward to talking with linehaul drivers and see if it's actually possible. Running team essentially, we're rolling into our consignee's between 10pm-2am and back up and running by 7 am.

I guess I had visions of running long loads that take 2 days to arrive, etc and didn't really think that you'll pick up Friday PM for a Monday am delivery, then Monday pm p/u for a tue 7 am delivery and so on and so forth and at 62mph and 6.0-6.4 mpg, man does it take a while to cover 400 and more miles.

I'm definitely getting stronger, lol. Flatbed work is NOT a walk in the park when there's inclement weather and you only weigh 160lbs.

I'll try and upload my google maps location tracker to show my lanes for my 5 weeks.

I am WHOOPED and finally ready to get more than 2 hours of sleep...

Sun: 2h 21min Mon: 3h 52min Tue: 4h 14min Wed: 2h 5min Thur: 1h 54min (first time trying to sleep in a moving truck during my 10) Fri: 2h 57min

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.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
PackRat's Comment
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That's not enough sleep. You are on your way to an accident or worse.

PackRat's Comment
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I got more sleep than that when I went through Ranger School in the Army. We had an average of about 3.5 hours a day for the duration.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

A couple of things that became apparent this week is that you are driving your face off each day/night to try and keep a 5 load per week and home on Friday schedule. With these trucks running 62mph and the amount of time needed to secure/break-down a load + loading/unloading time, I'm looking forward to talking with linehaul drivers and see if it's actually possible. Running team essentially, we're rolling into our consignee's between 10pm-2am and back up and running by 7 am.

I guess I had visions of running long loads that take 2 days to arrive, etc and didn't really think that you'll pick up Friday PM for a Monday am delivery, then Monday pm p/u for a tue 7 am delivery and so on and so forth and at 62mph and 6.0-6.4 mpg, man does it take a while to cover 400 and more miles.

This is something that you will get accustomed to doing, and you can make some great money, but brother we earn it! Right now you're still learning and it seems impossible to keep that pace. As a solo driver you'll learn to manage your clock so that you can maximize your available hours for the best efficiency. There's not a week that goes by when I'm not doing a little work during the time I'm logged off duty. You'll get your own groove and settle into it. It won't happen overnight. It's all part of that first year learning curve we talk about. Hang in there! There's a future flatbedder coming out of your efforts.

Solo, I'll be sixty years old on my next birthday. I'm still running flatbed and turning 3,000+ mile weeks consistently. Just today my dispatcher called me because he was in a bind on a 1,500 mile (JIT) load he had committed to, but he had no drivers with enough hours to handle it, He wanted to know if there was any way I could do it. With the nature of this dedicated account I already knew that load was coming up and I had been working my recap hours with the intention of being available for that particular load. He said he wasn't surprised, but he sure seemed relieved to have someone who could do it.

You'll get better at managing your time as you gain experience. Trust me, everyday is a learning experience. Even after years of doing this, I still get a kick out of beating these younger guys at this game. This business is very complex and competitive. The folks who keep on learning and figuring out how to make it work are continually rewarded with the kind of loads that will maximize their earnings.

Keep up the good work! You're gonna get better and better at it.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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.
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