Starting CDL School On October 21st With Transtech

Topic 26830 | Page 1

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Jay F.'s Comment
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I’ve been lurking for the last few months on the site. I’ve been looking into trucking for over a year now.

A little about me I’m 41 years old and my background is working in high end steakhouses the last 17 years. I walked away from the business 16 months ago. For the last year my primary source of income has been selling vintage items on eBay, doing uber and amazon flex.

I decided to pay my own way for several factors. First off I have put this off long enough, and I have a few commitments the next few weeks. I really didn’t feel like waiting another month.

2nd the money was a factor. I can continue to work while going to school. I have hundreds of things listed on eBay and I’m hoping to have most sold over the next 6 weeks.( I’m figuring 4 weeks for school and at least another 2 weeks before I start training) going away for training would’ve left me stuck with a lot of inventory.(and that wouldn’t make the wife happy lol)

3rd to say that I’m scared would be an understatement. The biggest thing I ever drove has been A 26 foot box truck. I do a lot of driving but it’s easy driving a little car. The schooling is going to cost me 3,000 dollars. A lot of the trucking companies put a value of 5-7000 on their schooling. I don’t want that hanging over my head. I feel like I have a lot of strengths that will help me in trucking, but I realize the burnout rate is high, and I’m debt free if I fail I don’t want to owe a company 6K.

4th I wanted freedom picking my own company, a lot of due to hearing a lot of negative things about different companies but the more I read on here I realize it’s what you make of it. I’ve always been a top performer, at my past jobs so if I get the hang of this I believe I will be a top performer wherever I land. I ln use to working a lot of hours, and I have had times where I have driven well over 80 hours in a week. Years ago before uber limited a driver’s hours it was nothing for me to drive 18 hours a day.

So thanks for listening to my rambling. I’m very excited to get my training started. I will try to update this along the way!

Jay F.'s Comment
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Day 1 in the books. 8 of us to start, but they moved 4 swift students to another location. Real easy day. As expected. Worked on our school paperwork, learned about log books, and then went for our Pee test and physical.

I was blessed with amazing eye sight, but it’s not as good as when I was younger. I was a bit worried. However I aced the eye test, and had really good blood pressure numbers. Guy asked if I worked out a lot(I don’t) no issues at all and got the medical card with no issues.

Instructors are both nice and very down to earth. I know it’s about to get a lot harder, but I’m ready. We go for our permit test on Thursday. Couldn’t have asked for a better first day!

Turtle's Comment
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Off to a great start!

good-luck.gif

Jay F.'s Comment
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Day two in the books. I’m glad classroom time is just a few more days. Sitting for 9 hours listening to someone talk isn’t my cup of tea. That being said our instructor is great and does an amazing job at conveying what we need to know, all while sprinkling in some funny stories to break up the monotony.

Today we worked on general knowledge and safety and took 3 practice tests. The general knowledge imo is common sense stuff that regular drivers should know anyway. I knew probably 80 percent of that. Definitely learned some stuff on safety, but again a lot of that is common sense.

Tomorrow is air brakes and combination vehicles. Two things I know little about. I will be reading up on those two subjects tonight. Different instructor for those topics tomorrow.

Also a recruiter was supposed to come talk to us students that aren’t signed with a company, and they never showed.

All and all another good day. Thanks for reading.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brandon K.'s Comment
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Good Luck!

Chasing Freight's Comment
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I went through TransTech in December of 2018 in Newton for the first half and then moved to Rutherford to graduate. Those guys are there for you. Keep an open mind and soak everything in. You will especially want to memorize that pretrip front to back. Good luck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I went through TransTech in December of 2018 in Newton for the first half and then moved to Rutherford to graduate. Those guys are there for you. Keep an open mind and soak everything in. You will especially want to memorize that pretrip front to back. Good luck.

They seem like good guys. I’m starting Pretoria this morning

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Getting ready to start week two. Pretty eventful week. Day 1 and 2 were perfect. My instructor those 2 days was amazing. Our instructor on day 3 and four was sick, and they were definitely scrambling. We were supposed to cover air brakes and combos that day, and we really didn’t get what we needed. Luckily the instructor on day 1 and two taught us a lot about airbrakes.

We went to take our permit tests on Thursday. I got 40 out of 43 on the general knowledge(I wish you could answer all 50 instead of shutting off when you pass) missed one on air brakes, and failed my combo test. It was 20 questions. I got 15 right. Had 2 questions left to get the last one, and missed them both. I was pretty bummed. I hate failing, and damn there was some questions that were like Greek to me. I got back to school and my other two classmates also failed combos. So we studied the rest of the day along with some time around the truck in the yard. It clicked when I saw the tractor control valve in action. I also did a lot of mocks tests and went back in the morning and got all 16 right. (Good feeling) we spent Friday working on prettily inspections. Also got some straight line backing in.

I’m kinda of nervous. This week is just pretrip and backing. I know I won’t have any issues with pretrip, but backing is scary for sure. I’m a positive person though, and I was thinking this time next week I will know how to do all three maneuvers. Looking forward to it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Well we have done two days of offset backing. There was 4 of us in our class. When I arrived Monday they added 2 from previous classes. One was a younger guy early 20’s. The school director can be pretty direct and no nonsense, but you can tell he cares and wants you to get it. Also the longer you are there and he can tell your trying the more he warms up. Well this guy was a swift hire and he never drove any type of manual driving.(practice parking trucks are all manuals) He was struggling. After lunch the director spoke to us, and the kid goes I don’t like how he talks to us. Next thing I know he was gone. He quit. When he was complaining, all the advice I read on here was going through my head. This site really did prepare me on what to expect.

As for the backing I got my first two attempts yesterday, and struggled with my other two. I’m left handed, and a lot of lefties struggle with right and left. It’s a known medical fact. Today I made sure to go slow and stay calm and focus. I got my first two again. Screwed the 3rd one. I didn’t finish it. I just needed to reset. After that I nailed my next two. I know long term it won’t be a problem. I know what to do. Sometimes I just flip it around. I know if I do it enough the muscle memory will kick in. And after a few weeks I’ll laugh at this struggle.

Tomorrow we will do our 90 Degree dock. I’m not tired of backing yet, but I am looking forward to going forward. Lol. It’s been a good two days this week. Thanks for reading.

Jay F.'s Comment
member avatar

We finished up last week. 3 of us had backing down. Two others were struggling. There’s a girl that just don’t get it. I mean the maneuvers are fairly straight forward. The instructors can only explain it so many times. On day 4 they were doing more watching than instructing. They wanted to see if we could do it, and if we got stuck fix our mistakes. Well this girl just lost her mind. It’s the instructors fault she can’t do it. She literally wanted to be told cut the wheel left. Now right. Blah blah blah. I don’t think she’s going to succeed long term. Lol

Today we started driving, and thankfully she wasn’t in my truck. Today was a lot of fun. The three of us did great. No major issues at all. We have a great easy going soft spoken instructor. Imo people like that just command respect. If he raises his voice in the slightest u know hey I better do this!

Crazy to think I have only 5 days of driving till I test out. My pretrip is good, and I think I will drive fine. Just hoping my backing doesn’t regress over the next week.

Thanks for reading and all the great advice.

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