Millis Transfer Training, Richfield Wisonsin

Topic 24288 | Page 3

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Noob_Driver's Comment
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So day 3 was a humbling experience. We started at 7am and went right into pretrip. Our instructor ran us through everything once and we asked as many questions as possible. We then moved inside the truck and watched him do the interior and brake tests.

After that we broke into grouos and started our own pre trips...... It didnt go well for any of us. After awhile we broke for lunch at a Chinese buffet that was pretty good. And went back to the terminal for more pretrip. I failed miserably on every single area no matter how many videos and study guides ive watched and read. We did this all day in the subfreezing cold and snow which turned into freezing rain later. Miserable. This is why I love our instructor, every single person he listened to he told them great job and at the end of the day reminded us this is day 1. None of us have any experience and we cant expect to be amazing. We'll spend tons of time in the upcoming days going over this stuff all the time for a reason, noone gets its right away and it takes time. As i sit here tonight in my room i have my own notes plus the guide from this site and a list of youtube videos to watch. Weather permitting we will do some backing tomorrow but its agoing to be alot of pretrip, which im excited for. I talked to the instructor and we are welcome to come to the terminal for more practice on the weekends which i will definitely be doing. Ill probably stay up here friday night and do some pretrip with my classmates saturday at the terminal and head home for a nights sleep and some laundry. Im learning a ton and you dont learn until you fail, and we all did today and oddly enough we are all pretty high spirited.

It was a cold miserable wet day with tons of mistakes and failures but it was without a doubt the best day here.

~noob

Terminal:

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.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Hang in there and remain coachable. It's alot to learn.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 4.

We started in the classroom with a review of yesterday and doing our log books. Log books are pretty straight forward when all you do is off duty and on duty so thats going well. Last night i watched alot of pre trip videos and even found a video with no audio, just the parts and you pause the video and name it and say what your supposed to say. We headed out to the trucks and really got into pretrip. We broke into groups of 2s and hit every outside section over and over. Its starting to come together nicely i have the engine and the trailer down very well but do stumble a bit on the coupling area and in cab so I know what to focus on a little extra in the weeks moving forward. Unfortunately with the terrible weather in Wisconsin we only have 1 truck running at the moment and the range is completely frozen over. We started our straight backing in the afternoon following lunch. Ive never backed a trailer before so the physics of it are a mystery to me and i proceeded to demonstrate that fact in real life. My first try i did well i made it all the way down without hitting any cones set my brakes and hit my horn and started forward again. Things went bad from there. I misunderstood the instructor regarding the cone all the way at the front of the range. He said it was centerend on the cones and i assumed it was centered IN the cones. Needless to say as i pulled forward i moved to the left after i cleared the alley and centered the front cone in the middle of the truck. Then everything went squirrelly on me. I couldnt correct myself those 4 feet or so and made a mess of it trying to back. The physics of backing havent clicked yet and i killed a few cones and found myself doing two things. 1. Moving the wheel too fast and the tractor not responding. 2. Moving the wheel too much and the tractor getting all out of whack. We only had the 1 truck going and 6 guys taking turns so we didnt get another shot at it until the end. My last try went similiar to my first it started out well and i made it all the way down and finished then i got into my head again and screwed up on the second with over corrections.

So to summarize pretrip is coming along smoothly, backing is a mystery that needs alot more study.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 5.

Same morning classroom routine then out to the yard. We got another truck this morning and thankfully some snow and ice melted so we can actually see some lines out there this morning! Trying to back without lines and just cones was pretty challenging for day 1. We do some pretrip i focus on the coupling section and after repetition start doing alot better. Did a quick review of all the outside sections and feel really confident about my progress.

We moved both trucks out for straight line backing one auto and one manual. We test in a auto here in richfield btw which i didnt know so there will be a restriction on my cdl. I hop in the auto first and boom! Perfect. Give it 2 more trys and perfect everytime. We break into groups of 3 and start rotating on the auto and manual. Move to the manual and get those 3 done perfect as well! Had two more series in each truck and all 12 backs were successful had a few pull ups in there after hitting some ice and bumps but feeling good about straight line backing.

That was my first time ever in a manual be it a car or a truck and *******. Im glad we are testing in an auto to be honest. I know after a few days of practice i would get it down but thats one less thing to worry about.

After lunch we started offset backing. Our instructor demonstrated it for all 6 of us in the cab and im feeling confident after my glorious straightline backing demo earlier. I now believe myself to be a super trucker that i read about so often. I already am picking out extra wierd running lights other accessories in my mind and a giant shifter that goes over my head for inside the cab. Its gonna be awesome.

So we've now shut down one of the trucks and will just be running the auto through offset. The other truck will be for more pretrip study and constant repetition. Properly mounted and secure not cracked bent or broken and no abrations bulges or cuts is now the soundtrack to my life people. If my life was turned into a movie firstly it would be a hillarious inner dialouge of craziness and wierd akward situations but at this point of the film the background music would be me saying properly mounted and secure, not cracked bent or broken and no abrasions bulges and cuts.

So on to off set. This didnt go well at all. I started out well and turned hard right and got lined up perfect with the center cone after getting out too look. From there it went to ****. Oversteering and understeering trying to get back under the trailer i managed to finally get it in there in what would have been a pass but it was rough. My second attempt was worse. I didnt complete it. My pullups got me more screwed up then actually helping it was a big mess. I struggle with moving the trailer and understanding the physics of it. My instructor says to just let the trailer guide itself in to the alley after i get it lined up then get the tractor under it and do a simple straight line back after a small pull up. But that never happens. Im stuck at the point of the intial turn and getting my trailer lined up, this is when my brain turns to jelly. Im really considering going home this weekend and buying a toy semi truck to practice. If i do ill post pics of me playing trucks for day 6. With 6 of us going on one truck i didnt get another shot and am feeling pretty down which seems to be a theme for me at the end of each day. I have two steps of it down pretty well in the initial turn and straight line finish i just need the reps to get it all down. Im looking forward to next week to work on those steps and hopefully it goes like straightline backing did. Im back home for a day or so and then heading up sunday to wisconsin to do some pretrip on our own Sunday at the terminal with my classmates.

Next week is super cold with temps in the teens and possibly 10 inches of snow so hopefully we can get some reps.

~noob

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.

Terminal:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pete E Pothole's Comment
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The more you do it the more you can see how your input affects the trailer. Don't forget to breathe when stuff goes pear-shaped.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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The more you do it the more you can see how your input affects the trailer. Don't forget to breathe when stuff goes pear-shaped.

I really wish we could just take the tractor one morning and just play around with backing for half a day just to get a feel of how it responds. No cones, no lines, no specific maneuvers just to figure out the movement and how it responds.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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I get that but without the cones or lines how can you be sure it is doing what you intend?

Our range is a dirt/gravel yard with just cones. We didn't get any lines, I'm kinda jealous.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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I wouldnt know we saw them for a few hours after the snow and ice melted, lol. Dirt and gravel sounds like luxury after driving and standing on packed ice and snow for three days. What i meant was just a feel for the movement of the trailer while moving the wheel. Reaction times for how long it takes the back end to swing around when you turn the wheel, what it feels like to turn hard and back then to turn back and get under the trailer. When i learned to drive a car my dad took me to a huge gravel lot and basically tossed me the keys and said drive around and do stuff and see how it feels.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 6.

Tons and tons of backing and in cab pretrip. Its single digits outside and with wind chill its well below zero so standing outside and doing outside pretrip for longer than 5 minutes is difficult. This is perfect for me since in cab pretrip is where im lagging behind on pretrip. We have one classmate who is struggling with backing so he spent the whole morning straight backing himself. He finally got the hang of it which was awesome. I find if i break pretrip sections into smaller sections and go over them over an over it sticks for me. For example the engine, i do my passenger side, then fluids and air compressor, steering, suspension, brakes then the wheel. I go over all of those individually 3 times and then do the whole section at once. Id recomended anyone whos planning on going to a training program to find your own way that works best for you and dont be afraid to try to memorize in different ways. Out of our 6 classmates 4 off us did our own thing to memorize, find what works for you.

I struggled with offset back on Friday but did alot better today. Im getting alot better at understanding the physics of the trailer and how it responds to the wheel. Also did some straight line backing and did well in that as well.

My instructor scared me at the end of the day and hopped in my truck outta nowhere and asked me to do a whole in cab pretrip with the brake tests and i managed to pull it off with no mistakes. This is probably the first day where we actually drove a truck I ended in a good mood so hopefully i can keep this going. I still need alot of work on my backing and backing setup to be able to get these down and am looking forward to putting in the work. Thanks for following along.

~Noob

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 7.

We started with a bit of classroom work and going over some of our quiz homework. Then out to the range, you really get a ton of work at the backing range with Millis up at Richfield. The weather today was brutal cold again with a good amount of wind so we didnt spend much time on outdoor pretrip again I went through each area a few times before frostbite started to kick in. So we went heavy on the incab pretrip. Full on incab. We decided to cheat a bit in the two incab pretrip trucks and pull up pretty far for the service break test so we could do some extra straightline backing. That went well, I have my incab down pretty good and just need to tidy it up a bit.

In the backing truck i did well at straight line backing and completed my two off sets with no problems in the morning. Then off to a lunch buffet.

The afternoon started back out on the range and we were introduced to the alley dock. It went as expected with failure. But i feel alot better about my failure this time. I have a better feeling for how the trailer responds and im confident with more reps ill get it done. I only had one shot at it late in the day as my group of 2 didnt get really get alot of time which was to be expected the first day trying a new backing technique. Everyone obviously takes their time so the last group runs out of time. The good news is my group of two should be up first thing and we already decided to lock the doors and not let anyone until we get the alley dock figured out.

We also did some practice coupling and uncoupling as well. A trainer had a trainee testing out near the end of the day so we headed in for the last hour and watched some videos on safety and extreme weather.

Thats all for day 7! Not sure if anyone but Pete is following but if you are thanks!

~Noob

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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