CFI Training In Arizona With Trainco

Topic 26572 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Travel Day: Sept. 15 - We rented a car and drove up from Chandler, AZ to Kingman AZ. CFI refunding part of rental equal to bus tickets for me and my spouse. CFI has us lodging at the Quality Inn and attending Trainco. The staff from Trainco is terrific and provided a ride to drop off rental car and transportation to and from School. Day 1: Sept. 16 - Hotel provided breakfast and Trainco teacher picked us up at 6:30 am. School is 7 am-6:30 pm. The school is 4 miles from hotel. Filled out paperwork and went over expectations. Permits, drug testing, DOT physical were all completed before we arrived in Kingman. They provided us with $5 cash and $100 visa for food during week one. Discussed expectations of Pre Trip (PTI) exam and what to expect. We then went out to go through the PTI on the truck. We practiced hooking up to the trailer and drove the bobtail for the remainder of the day to get used to throttling, breaking, and a few other techniques. The staff here has been great. There are other students in class that have started at other dates and already have job offers or looking for offers. The teacher, myself and spouse are the only ones on the truck so the ratio of teacher/student is perfect. On a side note there is a taxi service that we can use for school transportation that is covered by CFI but not needed with teachers offering to pick us up on their way. Since CFI has mostly automatic transmissions we are only learning on automatics and will have the restriction on our CDL's. I'm ok with it because it seems a lot of companies are switching over and I don't see it as an issue for myself down the road should I need to learn how to drive a standard.

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.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Good stuff Loa44. Best of luck to you. Keep us updated.

good-luck.gif

Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Day 2 - In the morning one student is the captain. The captain is in charge of checking fluids, lights, mileage, and properly inflated tires. At the end of day the captain does a walk around inspection of the truck and mileage. We then move on to the Pre-trip Inspection or PTI. Remember, what they teach at school is how to pass your driving exam because practical driving out on the roads is totally different when you're out there. We then learned to drive with trailer attached around tight corners by driving through town and back roads. There are still two students and one instructor at this point. My husband and I had the same instructor for two days. We then moved on to maneuvers. While driving, you learn to throttle evenly and brake nicely without stabbing the brakes and giving everyone whiplash. By the end of the day I did well with this but my husband needed to learn how to slow and make 90 degree turns rather than cutting corners. Important to avoid hitting curbs with back tractor tires. Maneuvers....I totally suck at them but my husband aced them. Sometimes, you want to hate those that ace things right away! Other than that, don't beat yourself up because it's only day two. At least that's what I told myself.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Day 3 - The daily start from now on is students take turns on being the captain, daily PTI, and taking turns driving to and from the sites we use to practice our maneuvers. The two sites here in Kingman are the MVD (DMV in most states) and a location where the fireman practice their maneuvers. Because we are learning how to pass the driving exam, we drive the route the examiner will test us on. Today my husband and I discovered the MVD examiner will not be testing us because they are fully scheduled. We are being tested at a local college for maneuvers and using a driving route that is never the same and the examiner is a third party. Students here that are tested by the MVD use lines, markers, and cones to help with maneuvers. Students testing at the college just use cones no lines. The maneuvers we are practicing are the straight line backing, the off-set, and parallel. Learning to setup your next maneuver after completing each is super important in order to make the next maneuver easier on yourself. On this day there are now four students and a different instructor. It's good to learn from different instructors. Each brings different experiences, and their way of teaching. If you can't learn from one instructor, you may do better with the next. Put all the instructors teachings or advice together and hopefully you become successful. Stressful things going through my head: If I can't maneuver, how the heck am I going to dock this truck. Six months of sitting at truck stops, am I going to be THAT driver that took TWO hours to park or dock. My poor Driver Trainer. Am I really going to pass in two weeks. Don't choke the student that keeps giving me whiplash. Can I catch a cab to the practice site so THAT student doesn't kill me with his driving. Patience. Breathe.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Day 4 - PTI, driving, and maneuvers. Same instructor from day 3. Four students today. One testing and the three of us practicing. Still enjoying all the instructors. We practice then break for lunch, drive back to class and visit with all students from manual and automatic drive classes as well as other instructors. Everyone chats about their ups and downs of how each student did and jokes around. We drive back and practice again. Each student doing better at something. My PTI is improving. PTI isn’t difficult but learning the verbiage that must be used for the driving exam is hard. I imagine it could be different in each state. The examiner has that check-off list that you must go through for them to show them you know how to do your PTI. If you hit enough of the check list you may not have to voice the entire PTI. For example: Once you voice the brake components for your tractor and first set of axles/tandems the examiner may tell you that’s good and is there any difference on the rear axles. Your hubs for each are the same as well as the slack adjustors and the rest. Rather than going on they could end that portion of your exam. Again, they’re making sure you know what you’re talking about. My maneuvers are still painful with very little improvement but my husband is doing a lot better in his driving. We won’t discuss his no need to improve on maneuvers. Arghhh!

Day 5 - Back to three students and today a different instructor. Fourth student passed the exam. If he had not passed he would be able to re-take today which is Friday, Sept. 19th. More of the same routine except this poor instructor now has the painful time of teaching me the maneuvers his way. He also did well with patience and not hurting the student we thought would hurt us with his driving. I am a little disappointed that Trainco students are not allowed to practice maneuvers at the college because it is only for the college students. So no peaking where my exam is. Fine, we will learn to do maneuvers with cones and no lines because in the end it will make me a better driver. Right?? That’s what I’m telling myself and I’m sticking to it.

Day 6 - Same three students and instructor. At least the instructors like me because I still require a lot of help on maneuvers. I am mentally banging my head. Everyone is very supportive and tries to give pointers. Maybe I will be like the student who couldn’t do it until the day before the exam and everything finally clicked into place. Thank God it’s Saturday and Sunday is our day off.

Day 7 - Sept. 23rd. New student joined Trainco but not our truck. He may join us tomorrow. Three students and a different instructor. I’ve been wanting to learn this instructors methods. Same morning routine then we took an excursion down to the Petro truck stop and learned how to weigh-in at the CAT scales. Toured the truck stop and I sat this one out since it’s just another truck stop for me. I will say they this truck stop had great pork chops my husband thought I’d enjoy and bought some for my lunch. Before we arrived in Kingman we packed food for our lunches and dinners since the hotel would provide breakfast. Each day we pack lunch and bottles of water and any other drinks we may want. We were also given our allotted $5 cash and $100 Visa. I have made slight improvements on maneuvers but won’t pass the exam yet. I have two days to improve before I test Thursday.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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”

Cat Scales:

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”

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Important to avoid hitting curbs with back tractor tires.

This is one of the big "killers" on the road test. Hit a curb with the right tandem tires, it's a test fail.

A pointer: entering a right turn, DIVE STRAIGHT, TURN LATE. Patience in turning the steering wheel. You start in the right-hand lane. (hint: keep to the left edge of the right lane.)

Drive straight out into the intersection. Then turn hard right, aiming to put the front axle into the second-from-the-right lane on the new street.

Once you get into the second-out lane, put your attention to the right mirror. Now watch to make sure the tandem wheels don't touch the curb. Or the power pole. Or the street sign. You get the idea.

Once the tandems are safe, then you can drive from the outer lane o to the right lane to complete the turn.

One more thing. If you are turning onto a two lane road, you will have to still use that second lane, even if it's the lane for oncoming traffic. It can be done.

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".

Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Day 8 - Four students today and our first instructor from last week joined us. My anxiety is high as we drive with a student still learning how to drive a massive weapon (tractor trailer). It's difficult to be patient when you believe there are those that should not be driving. Remember you are responsible for the safety of all those in the cab with you and all other's on the road. They could be pedestrians or cars. Why does that need to be even discussed because it goes without saying. Hard to drive and concentrate following someone that does not think about their turns, staying within their lane, throttling, and braking. Today a field mouse sat on the valve cover and stared me down as I was going over my PTI. Maybe I needed some excitement to start my day. Small improvements made on my parallel parking. There is some hope of my passing the maneuvers. At the end of the day I did a last check of the truck and found a chunk of rubber missing from one of the rear trailer tires. This reinforces PTI's.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Day 9 - Three students and the same instructor as yesterday. Worked specifically on each of our weaknesses. I finally got my parallel maneuver. My offset maneuver is still very sad. I'm over steering and not holding my trailer in position long enough. The trailer does not maneuver as quick since it's 48' long. Even though I'm aware of the issues I am constantly over thinking things. Tomorrow my husband will definitely pass the driving exam and I'm going to take a wait and see for my own test. During the exam we are allowed two get out and looks for each maneuver except the straight line backing which gets one. You fail the exam if you use more than two get out and looks. We are allowed two free pull ups (or corrections as I like to think of them) per maneuver except for straight line backing. Any more than the two pull ups used are a loss of points. I plan to use all my free get out and looks and pull ups needed even if I lose points. If you fail a portion of the exam, you retake only the portion that was failed. I have really enjoyed my time with Trainco in Arizona. They have been totally committed to helping each of their students pass. The staff and instructors are very patient, helpful and give it their all in helping us with our struggles. Trainco receives my high praise for dealing quite well with all the different personalities and attitudes from students, and remaining calm during drive times. I really like the ratio of students to instructors and trucks. The other day a previous Trainco graduate stopped in. He has been driving with CFI since he graduated six months ago and had only good things to say about CFI. He also took the time to answer all our questions, reinforcing our decision to choose CFI as the correct decision for us.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Hello

Sounds like things are going as expected. Keep at it, and good luck......

Chris

Loa44's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Chris.

Hello

Sounds like things are going as expected. Keep at it, and good luck......

Chris

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

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