Starting On My Path To A Career In Trucking!

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Brandon Kitts's Comment
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Roehl GYCDL Week 4 in review

Monday my truck crew loaded up and went to MidWest Testing Services to take our CDL Test. That day 3 out of 4 if us passed. The one that didnt went back on Thursday to retest and passed.

Tuesday since we didnt have anything to do we loaded up and took a road trip in the truck. We hit the backroads from Gary to Indianapolis and back. Everyone got a few hours of drive time. We stopped at several truck stops and ate lunch at one of them. They arranged for our lunch provided by Roehl to be saved for us to have for dinner.

Wednesday we had another road trip planned to go through Southbend past Notre Dame and up to Michigan along the lake. However once we got to the terminal Wednesday morning we were informed we had a job to do that day. Roehl has sold a bunch of their trailers but the buyers have yet to pick them up. So the 3 of us that had passed our CDL were teamed up with an instructor and a truck and given the task of moving all the sold trailers from the active slots to an empty lot next to the training range.

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That day I dropped and hooked 15 trailers myself. It included taking of King pin locks and hooking up airlines which had been disconnected to prevent accidental use and putting king pin back on after moved. It was interesting and gave me a lot of close quarter backing. The trailers are less than a foot from each other.

Thursday was load securement classroom all day.

Friday we have taken our test and been issued our hard hats and safety glasses. After everyone finishes their test we will go outside and do hands on load securement. The day will end with paperwork and fleet manager assignments. At 1730 hrs I will be heading home to Ashland Kentucky. Even though the time here has went by fast, it has been along time away from my love.

Sometime over the next week or two we will meet up with our Over The Road trainer for 19 days of phase 2 training.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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Brandon gets things done...

That day I dropped and hooked 15 trailers myself. It included taking of King pin locks and hooking up airlines which had been disconnected to prevent accidental use and putting king pin back on after moved. It was interesting and gave me a lot of close quarter backing. The trailers are less than a foot from each other.

Brandon, this is fantastic training. It might take several weeks of OTR running to get that many repetitions. Really cool!

Good luck!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
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So I head out for Phase 2 on Monday the 30th. I'm meeting my OTR Trainer Wes at a truck stop about 40 miles from my house. He is an Owner Operator and is going to try to get us a load heading west. He said since freight is slow this time of year might as well try to grab a long haul.

After a minimum of 19 days I'll test out for my own truck!

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
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Roehl GYCDL Phase 2 Day 1

Met my trainer at his truck about 50 miles from my house at 0700.

After pretrip we took of towards North American Stainless in Ghent KY. He drove because I hadn't been switched in the system and was still listed as exempt on ELD.

We got to NAS and loaded a suicide coil and other various steel pieces. Securing a flatbed load is a nice little workout. We left out and started heading towards Gary Indiana.

About 20 miles up the road we stopped for fuel and I took over driving. I drove us the 400 miles to our terminal in Gary where we are spending the night. We have to be in Joilet Illinois about 40 miles away for delivery at 0700.

Today's Incites

Driving with 75000lbs behind you is totally different than pulling an empty like we did during training. Lol.

My Trainer Wes is pretty cool. Has already taught me a lot in one day.

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.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
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Roehl GYCDL Phase 2 Day 2.

We woke up this morning about 0430 to snow in Gary Indianna. We did our pretrip and headed for CMI Intermodal in Joliet Illinois to deliver our load by 0700. We got there a little before our appointment time and got to go straight in to be unloaded. Tarps become extra fun to handle when covered in snow and road grime. Lol.

We got unloaded and the truck back in service in about an hour or so. After marking empty, we were sent our next load assignment in Burns Harbor Indiana at Arcelor Mittal Steel with a pickup at 1100hrs.

Arrived early and was allowed to go into load. Most things from the trucker interaction here is automated. You scale and check in via a Kiosk system. Their we got our 38000lb Coil. Then you check out and get your Bill's via a kiosk. The only employee we saw was the crane operator.

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After getting loaded we stopped outside of Indianapolis at a Petro for the night since Roehl has a mandatory shut down by 2000hrs on New Years Eve. Not that it matters since we cant unload until Thursday and we are only 400 miles from delivery.

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Tomorrow we plan on taking our time and stopping at a truck stop a few miles from consignee.

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.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

PackRat's Comment
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These are great updates, Brandon. Good to read about your daily learning experiences.

Brandon Kitts's Comment
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Roehl GYCDL Phase 2 Day 3

Woke up at about 0545hrs in Remington Indiana, did my pretrip and and headed South on I65. Today I did all the driving. Did my safety checks along the way.

We arrived at the Loves in Whitehouse Tennessee just North of Nashville around noon. We cant deliver until 0700 tomorrow and we are only about 40 miles from our drop.

Took a nice long hot shower and caught up on some Netflix. Spent the whole day and will be spending the night here.

The plan is to be at delivery before 0700 unload as fast as we can and grab another load. Hopefully heading West.

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.
Brandon Kitts's Comment
member avatar

ROEHL GYCDL PHASE 2 DAY 4

We woke this morning at 0430. Did our pretrip and hit the road to Steel Technologies in Smyrna TN. Unloaded there really fast. It took long for us to remove and store securement than it did to check in get unloaded and leave.

Our next pick up was at Logan Aluminum in Russelville KY. We arrived there around 1000hrs and checked in. Before going in all plastic bottle or drinks have to be moved to the sleeper. Once in side we were sent to a gate to back into a dock. They loaded us with 2 coils weighing around 48000lbs.

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So inside you have to more or less do a short strap and throw your tarp. We had to use a lumber tarp to cover them because they are 6 feet tall. The first tarp we deployed had a big hole in it. So we had to remove it and lift another 150lb tarp 6 feet into the air and try again. Not a lot of fun. Next you pull outside to an outdoor securement area we tightened all of our straps and secured the tarp with bungee cords in a downpour. At the end we were like two drowned rats.

Once loaded we took off heading for Illinois. My trainer decided it would be good for me to go through a few cities to practice shifting with a load. I believe we caught every red light. Lol.

We finally made to to I64 North of Evansville Indiana. Traveled West bound until we crossed the Illinois state line. Decided to park at a rest area for the night.

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We deliver in the morning in Bradley Illinois where our coils we be turned into Pepsi cans.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm enjoying your updates Brandon. This latest one was interesting because I've been to all the places you mentioned.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Sounds like things are going quite well. I'm curious, did they tell you why all drinks needed to be in the sleeper? Seems like a strange request.

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