Millis Transfer Training, Richfield Wisonsin

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PackRat's Comment
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We're reading along each time you post an update. Sounds like you're doing well and liking the cool temps.good-luck.gif

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 8.

This is starting to sound like a broken record but trust me its much more exciting in person.

Day started as usual with 640am pickup from the hotel after breakfast. We spent some time doing some classroom work while the trucks warmed up from the evenings deep freeze. Then out to the range for backing and pretrip. We unhooked our engine heaters and drove to the back of the terminal lot to the range and coupled our trailers on the three trucks. This was my first time coupling and i was suprised how hard you have to back in to lock the kingpin in. Maybe the sheet of ice played a part i dunno. But i got it hooked up and we pulled it around only to get stuck behind a driver who unfortunately got stuck on the ice after maneuvering around his trailer we started backing. Thanks again Pete for the advice of standing outside and watching how the trailer moves in response to the wheels, its finally starting to click a little. I completed all my backs today and did an offset without even thinking about it. I was just getting a truck lined up for an alley dock and needed to move it over another lane and before i realized what i was doing i was completing an alley dock. Very cool. My initial alley dock didnt go very well lots of pull ups but i got it after awhile. Then on to pretrip. Worked on all areas today because the sun decided to show up for a few hours. Still stumble on some of the drive axle area and the coupling but Ill keep working on it.

Finished another alley dock before lunch butchered the approach and took out some cones on the right side and had to pull up a bunch. Went to a Chinese buffet for lunch it was pretty good. We got back to the range and went right into our routine. Did alot of watching rather than constant pretrip because my brain is melting with it by now and picked up alot watching peoples alley docks. I did do 5 or 6 incab pre trips with the brake tests and feel really good about it. I didnt get alot of reps this afternoon at backing but i still learned alot watching. My final attempt of the day at backing was straight off test straight back went good. Offset with 1 pull up. Alley dock went well, i slowed myself down and really paid attention to the trailer and was able to back in with 2 pull ups and 2 looks.

We test next Friday for our CDLs so we have some time to work on these. The instructor is going to put us through the skills test tomorrow with the testing grading so we'll see how it goes.

Thanks for following.

~ 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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Keep at it man, and yea I have the same thought about coupling. I don't hit it hard enough the first time, and usually hit it a little too hard the second time trying to compensate. Keep whatever end goal you had set for yourself in mind, and keep improving, it sounds like things are going well.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 9.

The day started at 640 at the hotel for pickup. We started in class with a few videos on situational driving and some pretrip stuff while the trucks warmed up. Then out to the range for some skills testing. The instructor lined us up for our straight back then pull back up for offset left, and pull up for alley dock.

We separated into groups and started our pretrips. The instructor pulled one person out for the skills tests. Everyone has straight backing down perfectly and offset for the most part. Alley dock is another story. We've only had a few chances at it so learning when and how hard to cut the wheel is a challenge. Our course is a little short 8-10 feet because of a snow plow pile so it changes daily with either more snow or melt.

I had a perfect straight back. Perfect offset with 1 get out and look. And hit my Alley dock with 2 get out and looks and 4 pullups. I think with points i would have passed but i felt like i got lucky. Everyone struggled with alley dock and one guy couldnt get offset figured out. Unfortunately we lost that classmate after the morning. It sucks, he's a great guy but the training wasnt working for him I think it might have been to fast paced and he would do better at a longer training course.

After lunch we did more of the same except we cut straightline backing out and just did offset and alley. Lots of hit cones and encroachments from everyone. By the end of the day im feeling alot better at the physics of working the trailer. Looking forward to tomorrow.

~Noob

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Day 10.

We started in the classroom again with a few videos then out to the range. It was in the mid twenties todays so thats basically shorts and flip flop weather for us by now. We spent the majority of the morning doing pretrip and backing. I did the whole truck pretrip a few times and feel confident on that. Same goes with the in cab and brake test. I nailed 3 alley docks with minimal pull ups or get outs. Nailed 2 offsets as well.

We went for lunch and everything fell apart. I screwed up 2 alley docks trying to "perfect" my previous mistakes. First one i ended to wide and pulled up and literally just backed right into my own tire tracks and went wide again. Did that three times before i realized what i was doing. Took 2 more pullups and a line encroachment before settling in. My next attempt was the opposite i ended to short and followed with another set of useless pullups. Finally got it in the hole but i now know why i was off and how to fix it. Looking forward to Monday and next week to get all these down. We start road training Monday and test on Friday or Saturday for our CDLs.

At the Richfield school you test immediately. I know Pete has his diary going for Cartersville but the two are a little different. All other Millis schools have you go out for a few weeks with your trainer then take your test. At Richfield we test at the end of class. If we dont pass we go out with a trainer like the other schools and restest.

Looking forward to road training and cleaning up my backing next week.

~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.
Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 11.

Road training has begun! We all started out bobtailing around for a few hours. This was the first time actually driving a truck for me on a road so that was interesting. After we all took turns we came back to the terminal and coupled up a trailer and headed back out. I did well for my first time, I need to pay more attention to my mirrors and watching intersections. After lunch we did some more driving and went to an industrial park with some pretty tight turns. I almost hit a sign on a center median on a left turn. That was scary. Definitely a culture shock to someone whos never pulled anything behind me. I need to go slower and pay more attention to mirrors and always be on high alert. We ended the day at the backing range. Backing is going well i had a few stumbles on my alley dock but got it in the hole.

More road training tomorrow then a trip to black river falls wednesday.

Ill keep posted if i can. Sorry im a few days behind but ill type out yesterday today while im a passenger up to black river.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Good update...!

Constantly reinforce the thought that you are not driving the truck;... you are driving the trailer. When you are learning repeat that over and over in your mind while you drive.

Safe travels.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

Day 12.

My apologies for this post but its pretty. Bouncy back here in the training truck so i take zero responsibility for spelling or grammar errors.

We started out filling out some final paperwork while we warmed up the trucks from their nightly deepfreeze.

Then it was back to road training. Everyone is doing better than before so that's good. I had alot of time yesterday at the expense of others so they got the bulk today. When i got my turn i did alot better. Much slower more deliberate turns watching my mirrors throughout. No curbs and no signs. I got a bit overconfident and screwed up a right turn and turned into the wrong lane. Then i cut a roundabout short and didnt hit a curb but got the snow around it. Im gonna take the snow for the curb because it seems like good practice i know that roundabout has some snow in front of the curbs but i still could have missed it. My setup was wrong and i need some work on those. Finished up at the terminal with our backing routine. Had some offset trouble but nothing too bad. Got both my alley docks, i seem to struggle with small adjustments after i get my rear end in the hole. I think im over thinking it.

Headed up to black river now and it looks like its going to be back roads all the way from richfield. Im happy with that hopefully there are some roundabouts.

Thanks for following along.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

Day 11.

Road training has begun! We all started out bobtailing around for a few hours. This was the first time actually driving a truck for me on a road so that was interesting. After we all took turns we came back to the terminal and coupled up a trailer and headed back out. I did well for my first time, I need to pay more attention to my mirrors and watching intersections. After lunch we did some more driving and went to an industrial park with some pretty tight turns. I almost hit a sign on a center median on a left turn. That was scary. Definitely a culture shock to someone whos never pulled anything behind me. I need to go slower and pay more attention to mirrors and always be on high alert. We ended the day at the backing range. Backing is going well i had a few stumbles on my alley dock but got it in the hole.

More road training tomorrow then a trip to black river falls wednesday.

Ill keep posted if i can. Sorry im a few days behind but ill type out yesterday today while im a passenger up to black river.

I wonder if that is the same sign I was warned about if I was to test in Richfield. Keep it up man you've got this. I thought about telling Joel to call out the NOOB in the Richfield class next week but then thought better of it. Good luck to you.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.
Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

It probably was. Jaime our trainer warned us about after. For our class its just know as Scotts sign, Scotts intersection now. Its a really tight left with a center median to your left when your at the stop sign with a stop sign in the middle. I didnt drive out far enough before my turn.

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