"Destination Excellence" Or Old School's Training Experiences At TMC

Topic 253 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Well, the beginning of this journey begins like most trucking careers begin with a long (22 hours for me) bus ride. Why is it that every time I get on a bus there's always at least one or two nut jobs on there also? Oh well, I guess it just goes with the territory. There was about 6 or 7 other drivers on the bus with me and one of them was headed to TMC. We soon became friends and are now roommates at the training facility. Since we got to our destination at 0500 we had to wait for three hours for a shuttle van to come and take us to the hotel. Thus began our trucking careers with the first of probably many valuable lessons in the art of learning to hurry up and wait.

I'll be sharing with you my experiences here during my two weeks orientation and five weeks with a trainer. We will start nice and early tomorrow on a very cold and possibly snowy Iowa morning. TMC's website breaks down the training period like this:

Weeks 1-2 -4 days of company orientation -3 days of hands on load securement training -5 days of equipment familiarization housing and lunch provided paid $400 salary per week

Weeks 3-7 -5 weeks of over the road training with a certified trainer paid $425 salary per week

Release Week Certify completion of training Get assigned your own truck with your name on the door Start earning high weekly wages

I'll take you along with me, if you care to follow, and will be telling you what we actually do, and my personal thoughts on the overall experience as we progress along. Just in case you don't know this is my second trip here (yes that's a total of 36 hours on that bus) because of the discovery of a hernia during my physical. Now that I've had surgery and time to heal, TMC was good enough to let me return. I'm hoping for no further set backs, as it sure would mess up this attempt to share my experience with you. Hopefully this will be informative, entertaining, and helpful to some future drivers and maybe even for some future flat-bedders. Oh, by the way, "Destination Excellence" is TMC's slogan, I just borrowed it for the caption for this thread about their training program.

TMC's program is not a company sponsored program to enable you to get your CDL , but rather an opportunity for an inexperienced driver to get extensive load securement training and OTR driver training during this seven week program. They do hire inexperienced drivers, but you must first obtain your CDL through a reputable truck driving school. They also, of course, hire experienced drivers, but put them through a little bit different training program. For the purposes of this thread I will concentrate on my personal experiences in this apprentice driver program.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for sharing. I will definitely be looking at this. They look like a great company from what I can tell. The way they treated you through your injury/surgery is even more proof they are a reputable company who cares about the individual drivers.

Good luck!

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I'm looking forward to following along too!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G MAN's Comment
member avatar

I'm looking forward to following along too!

Me too!!

G MAN

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Well gang, bad news! TMC is sending me home again. Here's the deal: Apparently they just started contracting some of their physical strength testing out to a physical therapist. Part of the battery of tests that they put you through is the lumber tarp test. This involves lifting a 125 pound tarp up on your shoulder setting it on the trailer then lifting yourself up onto the trailer from the side, picking up the tarp again and setting it on top of a seven foot tall metal coil, walking around to the other side of the coil, removing the tarp down to the trailer, then getting yourself down off the back of the trailer, go to the side and get the tarp off and carry it back to the back of the trailer and set it down. Now keep in mind this is flat-bed work and it is definitely a more physical job than say dry-van work, so it makes sense for them to make sure you can handle it, because they don't want you to go out there and hurt yourself. Well, Old School did the job, but because I just had my hernia surgery four weeks ago I took it slow and careful so as not to injure myself. Apparently the physical therapist turned in a report saying that I struggled with it and that he couldn't recommend me for the job. Sure enough, they called me out of class later on to tell me the bad news. I plead my case with management, even asking if I could go back out there in the shop and show them how it's done, but since the physical therapist had already left they couldn't allow it. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going home to heal a little more and work on my strengthening exercises until I feel like I'm 100%, then I will return for a third attempt at landing this job. Maybe I rushed it a little bit by coming back in four weeks, I can't say for sure, but I am anxious to get to work.

Now for those of you who are just getting started in this pursuit of a trucking career, let me just say this: Don't let every little struggle or setback demoralize or discourage you into giving up on your dream. Keep on pressing on and prove yourself to the people you want to go to work for. I'm having to practice what I preach right before your eyes, and I absolutely hope to prove to you and to TMC that it's 90% attitude and heart that gets you started into this industry, and the skills you need aren't really developed until you've spent a good amount of time practicing them in an OTR driving situation. The final chapter of this story is to be continued later. Out!

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.
Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear about the set back. Hopefully in a few more weeks you can try again. You have the attitude right,and I, for one, amgoing to be rooting for you!

Brett N.'s Comment
member avatar

I second that! You have a fantastic attitude and I wish you nothing but the best! Good luck and keep us posted.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh man...that's truly a bummer!

But you're totally right - trucking is full of setbacks like that. And you have a lot of people making decisions that will completely change your life and career, and yet often times they don't even know you and they've never driven a truck.

Do you know one time I was fired from a company I had worked at for like 4 years because I arrived early for a pickup appointment??? Swear to God.

You can find the beginning of the story here:

Fired For Arriving Early

The entire story is in my book which you can read free online here:

Brett's Book - Free Online Edition

I'm sorry I don't know where it is in the book! I took a quick look but couldn't find it and I have to go run some errands so I don't have time right now. But it's in there!

Jason C.'s Comment
member avatar

Good luck. Can't wait to see the completion of your journey! You got this.

Bigdubber's Comment
member avatar

@Old School, I tip my hat to ya... your attitude about this situation is refreshing to hear! I pray you will continue caring that every where you go.

I thought it "interesting" that I should find your post today. I have been "researching" the truck driving forums and blogs, etc for a few months now because I am making a career change this coming May. I fully intend to return to TT OTR (still sorting out how to get trained and what company to try and work for, hopefully start by mid June) after over 20 years of absence.

Today, after my daily routine of scouring companies and forum threads, etc I was wondering if I was "selling myself short" by not considering flatbedding (instead leaning to dry van as first choice and reefer as a second choice).

I really like the physical aspect of the flatbed realm, but for the past 20 years I have gotten "soft" as being a Barber, my daily exercise amounted to my daily walk around my Barber Chair. Add to that I had a hernia operation back in 2001 so I was worried about that disqualifying me from the start.

I will be praying for you, and looking forward to your progress, whatever that turns out to be.

God bless you and yours and be safe.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

TMC Transportation Becoming A Truck Driver
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More