Jim Palmer Wilson Logistics Training Montana

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Noworrez's Comment
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Day 3 04/03/2019

Van picked us up at 7am. This morning. So funny to arrive at 7:10 and still be sitting here an hour later... but it'll only be 20 minutes more. Haha. Ok, more time to review pretrip.

We signed our CDL school contract. Simply put, the cost is $3500 and at no time will $ be deducted from your pay. At 6 months $1750 is forgiven. At 12 months the remaining $1750 is forgiven. So stick around for a year and no cost to you. Even if you were to leave after 6 months, you'll only pay 1/2. Really very fair and one of the best agreements out there in my opinion, and a more than fair price for training when compared to others.

Overall so far, I am impressed. I like the small feel making it more personalized, you are you and not a number. Everyone is very friendly and encouraging.

The Wilson's (Father and son) we are told are very approachable and we are encouraged to stop in and say hi if they are here as they like to know there drivers.

More later as the day progresses.

About 1pm Darwin took us out for a pre-trip run through then into the truck to pull forward and straight back, then out to a 45 degree angle to back. Also had a student pull out to show the angle you'll want to take a picture of in your mind for the 90 degree back. I did all right as he helped me and wow, what a thrill! Oh yeah, the 2 students that had to still pass their permit test did it. We are still a group of 5.

And that concluded our day. Tomorrow out on the roads driving Cheers!

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.
Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
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I'm running OTR (Advanced Fleet) and loving it. Every day is an adventure!

Haven't had any interaction with the new trainer. I'm sure you'll work with Darwin on Friday and Saturday. That is unless you get sent out with your D-Seat trainer.

Word of wisdom, if you're seting around go work on pretrip. Take the guide and find a rhythm that works for you. You'll be expected to know it when you get back to test. Few weeks ago there was a person who was sent home for not having a clue on the pretrip. I'm sure thers was more to the story but lesson is study!

Thanks Dave, that's some great stuff. Noticed that with Marc for sure. Haven't had much interaction with Darwin as he's doing onboarding. They must have drawn straws! 😂. That will change today since Marc is on vacation. Believe it will be Carina (spelling)? And Casey today.

Are you running regional or otr?

Cheers

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Army 's Comment
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Norwozzez

I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I grew up in Missoula and would like to drive for Jim Palmer when I retire from the Military. So I won't always comment, people like me benefit from you taking the time.

Also, my son is "C" seat if I am not mistaken, with Wil-Trans . I think he told me yesterday he can start driving at night. They were delivering fresh fruit from California to Chicago last night.

Anyway, thanks again.

Chris

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Noworrez's Comment
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Hey Chris, that sounds correct since wil-trans , Palmer, Wilson logistics are one in the same. No driving from 12am to 6am. However, I asked since I'm a morning person if I wanted to start at 3 or 4am was that ok? The answer was basically yes for 4am but a little him and haw about 3am. The impression I got is they don't want you starting at 10pm for example and driving through the night...training wheels, and getting acclimated.

I'm loving it and am impressed with Jim Palmer so I don't think you could go wrong.

Norwozzez

Also, my son is "C" seat if I am not mistaken, with Wil-Trans . I think he told me yesterday he can start driving at night. They were delivering fresh fruit from California to Chicago last night.

Anyway, thanks again.

Chris

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Noworrez's Comment
member avatar

Day 4

We will be out road driving today, skip bobcat directly to 53' trailer! Holeeeee shiz. Also we will practice more backing.

Funny how when asked are there any volunteers? Everyone looks around, I swear I gave everyone else a chance when we were asked, "who wants to drive"? but my hand shot up first. Grabbed the keys to a Pete, did the pre-trip, hopped up in the cab and....the battery was dead! LOL It's all good, got some jumper cables on her and after a bit fired right up. Humm, now for a trailer, off we went to hook up to one so I got to do that also.

We hit it all, dirt road, skinny road, railroad tracks, stop signs, stop lights, traffic, freeway and back. It was awesome!! It wasn't as nerve wracking as I thot it would be.

Turning comes naturally to me and up shifting no problem, need to definitely work on the down shifting but that seems to be the norm. I find it way easier to float the gears but we can't do that for the CDL test. The clutches are so sensitive you can pretty much look like your clutching then just shift. We'll see when I get another opportunity. Also did some 90° backing but want to do more.

They bbq'd hamburgers, hotdogs and sausages for lunch so I'm pretty sure everyone had food coma this afternoon.

One of the guys is already going out. They have a run to deliver tomorrow morning in Denver, so Darwin took him out for a road practice since he hadn't done it yet, nothing like jumping into the fire to learn.

Cheers!

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.

Float The Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.

Dave (formerly known as K's Comment
member avatar

That is correct. D and C seats aren't supposed to drive over the late night/ early morning hours. During D seat you are learning to handle an 80k lbs death machine. They want you focused on that. A long with backing and pretrip you plate is full.

C seat the goals change. You are now a DRIVER! That's when the "On The Job Training" begins. If your team trainer has the confidence you can handle the over night shifts you'll drive.

Noworrez's Comment
member avatar

Day 5

Arrived this morning and was told I'm heading out today!! But as it goes, we are waiting on an empty trailer which there is one, but it has a tractor under it and the keys have gone missing, apparently a truck from someone that quit?! 😂

We will be heading to three forks Montana.

My instructor, Ed, has a bit of experience considering he's trained close to 200 students with only 1 that didn't pass CDL on the first try so I'd say I'm in good hands.

Picked up my first load after driving about 200 miles at a seed company. Pulled around and did a straight easy back, total weight 79,800lb. We did a cat scale being concerned we were over but the drive axles and the trailer axles came in only 40lb difference at 33880 and 33840 with steer axles at 12080 so nothing to do here!

Pretty damn awesome!

Now, welcome to the suck...our delivery is in Utah 500+ miles not due until Monday morning so what's that...ahhh.... 250ish miles a day. Needless to say Ed is a little peturbed wondering what dispatch was thinking, but what you gonna do?

Cheers, Kelly

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.

CAT Scale:

A network of over 1,500 certified truck scales across the U.S. and Canada found primarily at truck stops. CAT scales are by far the most trustworthy scales out there.

In fact, CAT Scale offers an unconditional Guarantee:

“If you get an overweight fine from the state after our scale showed your legal, we will immediately check our scale. If our scale is wrong, we will reimburse you for the fine. If our scale is correct, a representative of CAT Scale Company will appear in court with the driver as a witness”

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Good small restaurant there in Three Forks, MT if you get time. It’s a one-horse town.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Packrat....LOL...most "towns" in Montana are one horse towns....I have been thru three forks many time.

Maybe dispatch was like, here is your first load, nice and easy...Good Luck and enjoy the ride.

Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey there Kelly, I am a solo driver for Wil-trans. Nice to see another thread on here for our company, good luck to you in your training period. I should correct a tiny bit of information here, your trainer actually can have you drive nights during D-seat. The reasoning behind this from what I was told is that since he is in the passenger seat next to you he can help keep you out of trouble, I don't necessarily agree with this whole heartedly. especially if you are driving one of the '15 or '16 vehicles as they have some pretty crappy dim headlights and there is no way the trainer can save you from making serious mistakes, just try and coach you out of them from the passenger seat. Anyhow, I did some night driving when I was in D-seat so figured I'd pass that bit of information on to you. As for the loads, you get some good ones and some bad ones. That's just kinda part of the job. Best of luck on your training and keep us posted!

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

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