Schneier Adventure. The Day Before.

Topic 26195 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Kieran's Comment
member avatar

Well guys, it was only an hour and a half of driving but I made it to the hotel provided by Schneider in Gary, Indiana. Saw a lot of trucks along the way which brought my confidence up some. In my family kids don't really leave the house until they're ready, be it financially or are moving in with a significant other, there's never any pressure. So you can guess it was a pretty emotional departure. Always lose my hunger when it comes to these emotional things. There's a fridge so I might pick up some stuff from the Walmart nearby later in the evening. Waiting for my roommate to arrive while I go over some materials I brought from school as a little last day refresher. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll update with Day 1 tomorrow.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Good luck. Remember to be a sponge, ask questions, and take notes.

Kieran's Comment
member avatar

So today marks the day were I can officially say Day 1

Woke up at 3 a.m and sort of just waited in the dark till 5:30. Was a little nervous so didn't eat the complimentary breakfast the hotel offers. Was pleasantly surprised to find a friend who took the same course to get our CDL with at the hotel! We talked a bit and he drove me over to the terminal and told me some re assuring tips. Found out the Schneider facility in Gary, Indiana has mostly Automatics, and that's what we were going to be training on for the next couple of days. Finally finding out what I was going to be driving on was a relief and a load off my mind.

Class started around 6:30 and we were met with a 10 question exam upon sitting down. It was surprising and I started thinking of things they could ask, but upon starting it, realized that it was mostly a reading comprehension exam. You read a passage and then answer a question that has everything in the passage. There were only 5 of us, 1 left after being told that if we had to miss a day, it was better to start next week as there were too many things to catch up on. He left and we are now down to 4. We were told we were only allowed being late 2 times because "If you can't show up to class, you might also be late delivering loads". We then did our urine and hair follicle drug test, and our physical. Was told there was no need for a sleep apnea test, and was given a medical card for 2 years. Surprisingly we didn't have to do a fitness test which I read we were going to take, that consisted of a step test, lifting test, an agility test in which they monitored our heart rate / blood pressure. So that was another relief.

A majority of the day was paperwork, i-9 forms, Schneider policies and PowerPoints. Some Computer work that was just more Schneider policies and hitting ' I agree' after reading it. At 12 we were given vouchers for a meal at the terminal's kitchen. And then it was back to class for more PowerPoints. A lot of it was review of the HoS rules, how to fill out log books manually, how to work an automatic, the collision mitigation systems that are placed in the trucks, and were then given some 40 question packet of homework that's like the exam in the beginning, mostly reading comprehension. Everyone was kind and welcoming and said that as long as we make an active effort to learn, they'll make an active effort to teach us, which makes sense, no one wants to waste time and money on training an employee only for them to fail, right? Still get emotional thinking about home, but it's definitely a better way for me to help my parents & save up.

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kieran wrote:

Everyone was kind and welcoming and said that as long as we make an active effort to learn, they'll make an active effort to teach us, which makes sense, no one wants to waste time and money on training an employee only for them to fail, right?

100% agree with this. Good luck Kieran, you clearly get this, so many, many others before you, never did.

Kieran's Comment
member avatar

Well guys, I was sent home....on some home time before I go out with my mentor on Monday! I have nothing but good things to say about my experience. I'll give a rough day by day experience up until this point.

Day 2: Was a Wednesday and they took us out into their training yard to show us how to do a pre trip, how to get in the trailer safely, do a post trip, brake test, couple, uncouple, slide tandems & fifth wheel. We were basically shown how to do things the Schneider way. After demonstrations was over we went back inside for some more slides and presentations. We were given homework which was just read this chapter in the book and answer these questions.

Day 3: I believe Thursday was a map reading day and how to navigate using only a road atlas. In the afternoon they also us on the road! This was the part I was nervous about but my instructor made everything super simple. He took us out with him driving first to show us what he expected us to do, then we parked and he let us take over. We read out speed limit signs, bridge heights, verbally announced when we were checking our mirrors every 8 or so seconds and we mostly navigated around the city. The automatic didn't take long to get used to, We were taught how to buttonhook turns, and what to look out for when turning and just driving in the city. Once we were done we headed back to the OC and did some backing work. It was mostly, alley docking / 45 degree backing combination where we drive perpendicular to were we want to back in, go 1 and 1/2 spaces past it, turn all the way right to 12 o'clock, then turn all the way left to 9 o'clock and then slowly get it in the parking space. Again the instructor made it super simple and told us that officially on test day, the limit was 15, but he'd want us to get it in half that time, which we did! My fellow classmate and I both did it a few times in different spots then called it a day and did a post trip and went back to the hotel.

Day 4: Friday was another day that basically mirrored Thursday. I believe we went over more Schneider terms and safety rules. And then we went out driving again. I was given a real life example of what crazy people do out in the streets. I was making a left hand turn and some guy just walked into the lane and would not move. He was stomping the ground and acting like he was gonna charge at the truck and I just stopped. I was still behind the light so I was just looking at him, looking back to my instructor, and then looking back at the light. Repeat for about a minute. My instructor said to just make my turn slowly, and he'd move out of the way. And...he did, I was prepared to wait him out but I guess when faced with a monster that could run you over, you move over lol. This was the day I was also taught never to panic when facing a yellow light mid turn. It does no one good if you stop past the white line, so just finish your turn CALMLY and SAFELY. Other than those little scares, it was really nice driving a truck again, after 30 or so minutes I calm down and go into 'truck mode' were I scan the the road, look at my mirrors, check that I'm in the lane, and repeat without being as nervous as I thought I was going to be. We went back to the OC and did some more backing at got my record time of 4 minutes and 50 seconds. I believe this was the day we had someone from the experienced class move over to our inexperience class because

Day 5: Saturday was completely in the classroom working on a myriad of computer based training assignments. Basically just watch this video, and then answer these questions. Sexual harassment, what do to if theres an active shooter, and strangely enough, something to do with spotted butterflies and to kill them whenever we see them. It was an early day so they let us go whenever we were done. I packed up and drove home for some nice home time. I later learned that we had one student quit because of the amount of computer related things we were learning about.

Day 6: Monday I woke up around 4 and made the drive back to the OC which was 30 minutes faster since there was really no traffic on i80/294/290. This day we each had an instructor and the entire day was spent in the truck. A lot of city driving and then back to the OC for lunch, then out again in the city. Only backed a couple of times. Pre trip, post trip, coupling and uncoupling. Was given things I needed to work on, which was speed on entry of exit lanes and speed on the highway. Was told to slow down on turns and keep it under 10 which requires the faintest of touch on the pedal.

Day 7: Tuesday. Was a repeat of Monday, worked on things I need to work on, was hoping to do more backing but most of the day was spent on the road. We actually went through a 'slow maneuvering course' which were a bunch of trailers stuck end to end that you had to navigate at first gear super slow. I swear you moved even the slightest bit right or left and your mirror was inches away from the trailer next to you. After that it was weaving between some poles and a straight back through tight objects.

Day 8: Wednesday. We spent the entire day inside working on the Qualcomm and how to navigate and accepting pre assignments, looking at the details and making them active, etc. Still a bit iffy on certain things but I'm hoping to learn more when I'm on the road with an instructor next week.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kieran's Comment
member avatar

Day 9 : Thursday. We finished up the last bit of the Qualcomm activity and then for the afternoon went out in the yard. It was supposed to thunderstorm so we weren't sure if we were going to go out and drive. We were asked what we wanted to do and when I said "whatever's on the test", was looked at strangely. "What do you mean? You passed on Monday". WHAT?? Apparently they gave us our exams early on in the week and I had passed without knowing haha. It honestly felt like any other day, drove like I was told and followed the instructions I was given when backing. I was floored I had passed because I thought they were going to make a big official "Today is test day" type of announcement, I had spent part of the morning looking up backing maneuvers and set-ups lol. We worked on more backing and then finished with an uncouple and post trip and then headed back to the hotel.

Day 10: Friday. Friday we were given tablets which were supposed to take over the Qualcomm devices so I'm not too sure which we are going to use while on the road. We were told Schneider is in the middle of a transition period so we'll see what my trainer tell me to us. Speaking of, we were given our trainers information and what they expect of us and what we should expect of them while out on the road. My trainer is apparently a million miler so I think I'm in good hands. We had all our instructors come in and were given a diploma and little ceremony of graduation. We were told a lot of last minute safety information and how it was ok to be nervous, scared, how we were going to get lost, and to not panic. Only 60% of the class graduated, but we were given statistics that only around 6 people had failed the mentor part of orientation out of about 170 so the odds are with us to pass.

Overall, I believe as long as we do what we are told and listen to our mentors feedback, by this time next week, I should be getting set up in my own truck. Compared to how I felt 2 weeks ago, I'm feeling way more confident in being able to do things. I'm looking forward to the backing situations I'll find myself in next week and can't wait to start driving. Instead of driving an hour or two, I'm going to have the full 11 hour clock. I don't know how other companies do the orientation, but I'm glad I chose Schneider so far. The instructors went above and beyond what I had imagined they would as far as helping us, training us, and making us feel like this is something we're capable of doing. For now I'm off till Tuesday, so I'll update again when I have my first drive with an instructor!

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your progress. When you started out the last update of "I was sent home" I was expecting to read something like I got sent home for failing something.....blah blah...but you are home for home time. Well congrats and look forward to more posts.

Page 1 of 1

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

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