CDL In Hand; Waiting For OTR Trainer

Topic 26821 | Page 1

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Irish Mike's Comment
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I just completed my tumultuous and fast-paced four weeks of training at Roehl, where I tested out and have my CDL. There I briefly meet my Training Fleet Manager and then I drove home and now I will wait about a week and should be hooked up with my over-the-road trainer.

Those four weeks at Roehl will never be forgotten, it was quite overwhelming. I'm a very quiet person and approach new people and new situations cautiously, assessing the situation before committing to my strategy. Meeting other students, new instructors, the PRE-trip information and routine, getting to know the truck, the trailer, first-time tractor/trailer driving, first-time tractor/trailer backing, plus the new location and new environment, had me visibly disorientated.

Two weeks into the program, after I haltingly ran through the brake-tests with my instructor in the cab and the two other students standing outside the truck, my instructor took that moment to address my clearly perceivable nervousness. "You've got to just bark these procedures out with confidence, like you know them, like you know what you're doing!" This, from Ed, a six-foot-four black instructor to this skinny little white dude.

I replied, "I know the procedures, I know I can complete the backing, it's the social pressure that makes me nervous, it's you sitting there that makes me nervous. I'm thinking, 'what are you thinking?' ... But just verbally addressing this is helpful to me."

"Who gives a **** what I'm thinking, you'll never see me again, unless you really **** up, of course. What about testing out, there will be an examiner sitting next to you, you've known me for two weeks, get over it. I suggest that you have these brake tests memorized, that you know them so well that you could recite them in your sleep. As far as what I'm thinking, I'm just thinking, 'does Mike really know this?' Just show me you know this and we'll get along fine."

We got out of the truck and joined the other two students next to the truck. Nobody commented on the extra four or five minutes of discussion that took place in the cab after the brake-tests. Ed and I never spoke of those few minutes in the cab on that cool dawn morning in October, but they changed the second half of my training,

I was sufficiently acclimated to the other students, to the truck, to the environment, to the routine and to my responsibilities, and after the "Who gives a **** what I'm thinking" moment me and Ed got along just fine, all the cards were on the table now, all I had to do was show him I knew what I was doing. OK, I can do that! ;)

So I just learned everything, the pre-trip, the backing, taking curves, (With Ed's "Steer straight, turn late, and don't hit the damn curb," echoing in the back of my mind.) I just learned everything until it was like taking a shower, no thinking required. (Ed on backing, "Stop thinking, just move. If the trailer's going the right direction, fine; if not -- fix it. There's no thinking required!")

The examiner who tested me out was about my height, and sure, I was a little nervous, but I literally knew this **** and wasn't just trying to remember stuff. Talking to another student later, I said, "That was easy, that was a friendly little white guy ... compared to a hulking black guy cussing and yelling orders at me?"

So yeah, training was tumultuous, but testing out? No thinking required. Thanks Ed. smile.gif

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
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Congratulations! Good luck moving forward.

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PackRat's Comment
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Great job, Mike!

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Blair's Comment
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Congratulations! Full speed ahead!

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Irish Mike's Comment
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Thanks for the encouragement, Turtle, PackRat & Blair ;-)

(Turtle, where you at? I was born in Schenectady, my cousins lived near Thatcher's Park ... beautiful country up in those hills.)

0610542001571659904.jpg

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Irish Mike I am REALLY proud of you for overcoming those fears and taking the wisdom from Ed and literally KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK!!!! Fantastic!! Go get them wheels rolling. Roll on 18 wheeler!dancing.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-dog.gifgood-luck.gif

Thanks for the encouragement, Turtle, PackRat & Blair ;-)

(Turtle, where you at? I was born in Schenectady, my cousins lived near Thatcher's Park ... beautiful country up in those hills.)

0610542001571659904.jpg

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar
(Turtle, where you at? I was born in Schenectady, my cousins lived near Thatcher's Park ... beautiful country up in those hills.)

I live up in the hills, kinda between Greenwich and Granville. The nearest town would be Hebron, if you've heard of that. Not many have.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

The nearest town would be Hebron, if you've heard of that. Not many have.

Yeah, I've heard of it ... in passing ... my half-sister lived in Glenn Falls, and our whole family gathered at Lake George in summer.

Nice to make your acquaintance ;)

Victor C. II's Comment
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So have you found a company to hire you?

Irish Mike's Comment
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So have you found a company to hire you?

Roehl hired me and trained me.

Unless I really screw up [& get screamed at by Ed] and get fired, (perish the thought,) I plan on sticking with them for at least the 15-month contract I committed to when I was hired, probably longer.

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