Introduction Followed By Millis Training Institute Diary.(Cartersville, GA)

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Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Hello TruckingTruth before I begin I would like to thank Brett, each of the moderators, and all of the regular and past thread participants. I consider myself extremely fortunate that when I started researching the industry I found this site/forum and visited before I went to any of the other forums full of vitriol and toxicity. Thanks to you all.

My name is Pete, I'm 43 I currently live in western Georgia just off I-20 so if you happen to be sitting for your 10 or 34 at exit 19 or 26 I may be able to show up and buy you a coffee and pick your brain a little. Driving is something I have always loved, and hard work is something I have always appreciated. Driving a truck is something I have wanted to do but as a father of four it hasn't really been an option. I worked for 15 years building windows and doors, and then by chance I got a job where I could work from home and spent the last 5 years scheduling mystery shops calling people across the US. In early October I was laid off due to departmental downsizing, they gave me a decent severance package which I appreciate. I then started looking into CDL training, because there were so many opportunities for drivers. The more I looked around and researched the more OTR driving piqued my interest. With the youngest of my children getting his drivers license this month, I thought my kids aren't little anymore and they know who I am and what I am about. After a few days of thought about it I started discussing my decision with my wife and then my kids, and everyone is on board.

In early November I started looking for reviews of companies, mainly looking for companies that would put you through their school and hire you once completed. Of course looking online for reviews of pretty much anything there is going to be a lot of complaining, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in wading through that I started looking for forums for people that drive. Found one link that read "Trucker's Forum - The Friendliest You'll Find Anywhere" I kind of scoffed to myself to be honest. I figured like any online forum there would be a lot of trolling and braggarts. I expected to find here what I was reading on Indeed and Glassdoor, basically complainers, whiners, and people who had a million problems and a million others to blame without realizing the common denominator. What I found instead was refreshing, people with years and years of experience willing to let others learn from their advice and own mistakes and sharing them openly. The diary section is some of the best reading on the site and the daily content in general discussions is insightful and sometimes ridiculously funny. After a few days of visiting and reading and the discussion with my family I decided to hit that big green button I kept seeing on the site. "APPLY FOR PAID CDL TRAININGrong>". Within a few hours I had emails from several companies. I visited the company review area of the site and looked at the information here and also went to each companies own website. The one company while looking at each of them that garnered most of my interest was Millis Transfer, but I thought there was a catch. It seemed too good to be true, everywhere I looked for information about Millis I saw you needed various amounts of OTR experience. One site said six months and others said one year, so I called the recruiter who sent me the mail and left a message hoping they hadn't made some kind of mistake. It was a Friday evening, I got a return call on Monday. It was great news there was no mistake, Millis has a school and they will train you, but it's not free. $100 to reserve your seat in a class and then $400 in cash when you show up on your start date. I was thrilled! After looking through the offers Millis was my first choice and I sent all of the information required and my application was approved to head to MTI. The first available class however was not until February 11. So here I sit CLP(studied the High Road Training Program exclusively) and DOT medical card in hand, soaking in as much information as you guys can put on the screen. I haven't read every thread on TT so far but I have read some quite impressive ones. I have made a few posts, often congratulatory, or offering what little I do have an answer for to those that ask. Reading diaries of others has given me some insight of what to expect, they all seem to have the same general pace and time frame for what happens in school.

Below is a link to the MTI program, I want to try and do a training diary, just not at the expense of learning/studying. I hope links to outside sources ok I think I read somewhere they are acceptable.

MTI Program

Again a huge thank you to everyone who devotes time to answering or asking questions. Sorry for the wall of text, I simply wanted to put down a few lines and made this mess.

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.

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.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Old School's Comment
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Pete, that was a fantastic post! I'm looking forward to following along with you on your journey. Millis will be a great company to work for. Congratulations!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Noob_Driver's Comment
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Definitely looking forward to your journey with Millis and wish you the best. Any insights you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
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Millis is on my short list so I'm definitely interested in your training diary. Good luck and, like you said, put study and training ahead of any diary.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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I'm 17 days away from starting up in Wisconsin and getting nervous. How are you holding up?

Also, what stuff are you studying? Im going over pretrip which seems to be melting my brain. I dream of triple letter acronyms PMS, CBB and ABC. If anyone has a better technique or mental exercise to memorize all these please let me know. I'm a city boy and don't know anything about vehicles. Which brings me to anotger point. Have you backed a trailer before? I keep reading or watching videos saying to practice before you arrive just so you have an idea of how it actually feels even if its a small one just for the very basics.

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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I am anxious, excited, and hopeful. I really want the opportunity to prove that this the career for me. I also read or saw a few places that recommended to practice with a trailer, but I decided that by doing that before school I could end up getting used to doing it the way I learned and not be open enough to teaching at school itself. This two and a half months that I've had to prepare and wait has been good for me. The time studying and just hanging out with the wife and kids without having to rush is good. I'm eight days from heading to the hotel fully prepared, but anxious. Do you watch any of the Millis drivers on YouTube? One of them did a pretty thorough daily vlog about his training at MTI in cartersville back in October. I have been studying Daniel b's pre trip guide daily, but I feel like being at the truck going over it will help it stick better. There are some things people learn easier/faster by doing, instead of reading about them. To me PTI seems it could be one of them.

Noob_Driver's Comment
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I do watch a few of their youtube vlogs, the two training ones specifically were Ryan Nickerson and Rushin Trucking. I believe Rushing trucking was the one you're referring too, oddly enough im pretty sure he recommended backing prior to coming to class which stuck in my head. I see what your saying regarding learning at the school vs coming in what might be a bad habit. Unfortunately i havent seen a vlog or a diary (i think) from Richfield yet. Apparently they do it differently from what Ive been told. The 3 weeks class is the same but at the end of it you take your cdl exam. I believe (but could be wrong) that all the other locations go out with trainers then test at a later date.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Get a toy tractor trailer and look at the angles as you "back it into a hole"

i needed the reference.points schooling gave me . without them i was useless so practicing before i went would have messed me up more. lol

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

I do watch a few of their youtube vlogs, the two training ones specifically were Ryan Nickerson and Rushin Trucking. I believe Rushing trucking was the one you're referring too, oddly enough im pretty sure he recommended backing prior to coming to class which stuck in my head. I see what your saying regarding learning at the school vs coming in what might be a bad habit. Unfortunately i havent seen a vlog or a diary (i think) from Richfield yet. Apparently they do it differently from what Ive been told. The 3 weeks class is the same but at the end of it you take your cdl exam. I believe (but could be wrong) that all the other locations go out with trainers then test at a later date.

Yes, what you said about Richfield is also what I understand.

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.
Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

Heading to the hotel tonight, a bit nervous but as prepared as I think I can be. I am hopeful that all will go well and confident that I haven't learned anything just yet. I am there to succeed and outwork anyone else. Thank you all again for your time and advice that has been posted to this site. I will update as I can as long there is nothing else more important to take care of. I hope you all have a great, safe week out there.

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