2 Day's Before Orientation At Scheneider, School Experience And Current Thoughts.

Topic 26182 | Page 1

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Kieran's Comment
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Hello all, after reading so many people's thoughts and experiences on their adventure into trucking. I've read so many threads I've started remembering certain peoples usernames lol. I figure it's time I finally start documenting my own.

Graduated from a 3 1/2 month long, 4 day's a week, 5 hours a day school in early May. Road time wasn't much unfortunately, it was about 45 minutes or so 3 days a week, the final one being time in a simulator going over potential hazards. The last 2 weeks they stopped taking us to the simulator and we had extra time on the road, in preparation for the state exam. The instructors were great, though it was hard at first trying to combine 5 different instructors way's of teaching into my own. They each had they're own way of what RPM to upshift, downshift and noticed if you weren't using the way they taught. I wasn't at the top of the class but I was also not at the bottom due to seeing how others handled our last couple of days. Backing was a different beast, we only had 2 days or so on 45 / 90 degree backing each We built up to it by going in increments of 15 and were usually restricted to 2 or 3 pull ups, otherwise we had maneuver back to our starting position. I usually got it in by the 2nd day but I can imagine doing it between 2 trailers being on a completely different level. Fortunately, by the end of the class I had a better handle on my skills, skipping shifts, and not hearing that grinding noise which was embedded into my head. 10 > 9 > 7 > 5 > stop, is what I ended up liking when downshifting.

We were trained on I believe 2004 Freightliner Cascadias at the start, and for the final 2 weeks they let us use the newer International's they acquired and good lord could you tell the difference. Getting inside and starting it up I couldn't believe how quiet it was compared to the Cascadia's we were using. It threw me off and I found myself going up to 1600-1800 RPM's without even noticing because I was so used to going off of the noise to do my shifts. The shifter was also much nicer, when I mentioned it being so much easier to shift to the instructor he went "That's cause no one's had a chance to grind the living **** out of them" lmao.

Test day I came in and sat down and started going over my pre trip but was called ahead of my other classmates so I was on edge, but I passed it all on the first try. I missed a gear going from 6th to 5th but recovered in 4th, and as I was making my turn into the street the building was at, the examiner said "Why are you taking up so much room?" due to me taking a wide turn. I just said it was because I wanted enough room for my trailer to pass through. I asked if we were turning into the lot and was met with "Hey Hey, I, decide where we turn". Parked kinda crooked and he made note of that but just said "sign here" and went inside. My instructors looked at me with thumbs up asking if I had passed but I shrugged, I honestly didn't know. Fortunately he called my name and handed me my license! Such a relief off my shoulders. I actually stayed to wait for one of my classmates who we were all worried about, he had a really tough time throughout the class and stalled the engine 3 days before the exam. It was honestly scary riding along with him. I was in the truck with him multiple times while the instructors, at their wits end, were raising their voices trying to get through to him as I just sat there in the back awkwardly listening. AND HE PASSED! He tells us "I got an automatic waiting for me at my job" and the class laughed.

2 months later......

You may be asking yourself, "Why did you wait so long?". And my answer to that would be I kind of got comfortable at my job, knowing I had a "back up", knowing I could be let go and go someplace else, even though the work was taking a toll on me physically. Did I make just enough to pay the bills? Sure, but not a lot of leftover to build up a comfy savings. I could work Friday, and still feel pain on Sunday.

2 weeks ago I decided enough was enough and put my 2 weeks notice in at work after having sent out a couple of applications. Schneider was one that had been on my radar for quiet some time before / during/ and after receiving my CDL , based on the comments everyone makes about their training. I've been going through my pre trip inspection the past couple of day's and can still recite it like I did on test day, but maaan is the driving portion making me a little nervous. I've been playing a truck simulator with the shifter/ pedals I have just going through the motions. Watching TONS of videos, like RPM / backing, diaries. I know a lot of it is first job jitters, but man do I have a habit of thinking of worse case scenarios. Maybe I don't pick it up immediately and get sent home, etc. The recruiter said they were 75% automatic but couldn't really answer what the trucks would be during orientation as "every terminal is different" so I guess I'll find out Tuesday lol. But even if it doesn't work out, I'll be taking what training I receive, and use it as I head to the next job. I'm nervous, but I was nervous when I took the exam as well so nothing else to do but do it. I constantly hear school teaches you to pass the test, you learn how to drive at your first job. I can't believe how long this has taken, I'm nearing the character limit. I'll try to condense it somewhat more when I write about how orientation goes, thanks to those who read it! I'll take any and all advice you give!


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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
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Welcome Erik. Congratulations on your progress thus far, and good luck on continued success going forward. Schneider is a class outfit, you'll do well there. Stay laser-focused on everything, and be safe in everything you do. Let us know how it goes.

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