US Xpress Orientation And Training

Topic 27018 | Page 1

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Amber L.'s Comment
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I've never enjoyed writing so this will probably be brief but I noticed there hasn't been a training diary from US Xpress in a few years so I told myself I would do it.

Today was our first day of orientation in Jacksonville, FL. The "shuttle" picks up people starting at 6am if you drive you need to be there no later than 7 preferably before. They wanted you to use your phone to complete a medical history first thing. Then went over a few general, common sense rules, don't be late, no harassment etc. Then we started doing some videos as a group with some questions about them. While doing those they started in on the blood pressure and heart rate for each student. We were sent down stairs to wait in line (lots of waiting around!!) to finish our medical history with a nurse then do the physical standards test. It was standing on each foot for 15sec. climbing on a platform going under that platform, having your heart rate checked after each activity. Then lifting a light box to about waist high 20times then a heavy box to waist high then to a shelf about 5ft high and down to the floor once. Next is a pull and push test simply pulling a heavy wheeled cart 20ft or so with a little threshold and keeping it within the lines the pushing it back. All pretty simple I didn't see anyone really struggle with it.

Next they did the hair test and urine test and a little physical with a doctor. Lots of waiting around!!

They provide a 6in subway sandwich for lunch with chips and a cookie.

After lunch the experienced drivers went out for their road/backing test and the 5 students stayed to do more videos with questions until the end of the day. The videos are company policy and general safety stuff mostly.

Not too bad of a first day!

Our day will start at 8am tomorrow!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Amber L.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 2

More videos and questions for most of the morning. They handed out paper logs and some directions for us students on filling them out for orientation, they will collect those few days. Then we started learning about driver tech (Qualcomm) broke for lunch (more subway) and finished out the day with more on the driver tech. We waited around for the office ladies to dismiss us one at a time as they checked our applications.

Very simple.

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.
Amber L.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 3

Was really just waiting around the drivers lounge for the drug screening to come thru and them to finalize your employment. Didn't come thru for my husband or I so we were sent back to the hotel for the night.

Day 4

We came back in the morning and by lunch we both got hired!! They gave us each a packet of hiring papers and new books. Now we contact our training coordinator and they work on getting us set up with a trainer. Some people say it takes weeks and some say a day or two. I went ahead and got on a few US Xpress Facebook pages and asked if there were any available trainers out there, trolling the pages I've seen others get connected that way so hopefully we won't have to wait too long!

Army 's Comment
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I like the idea of being proactive looking for a trainer on FB versus waiting for the company. Sounds like a good week.

Amber L.'s Comment
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Day 5

I located a trainer via Facebook. He has 5years experience training. I chatted with him and the called his current trainee and talked with her. She had nothing but good to say about him. The only downside is that he won't be available until December 1st so a two week wait. I decided it would be worth it for a good trainer rather than hope for a good one on the luck of the draw.

Now here is the interesting part, my husband asked his driver coordinator about finding a trainer on Facebook and the coordinator was all for it said it's a great way to find one. So I call my driver coordinator and she gets all snarky saying it NEVER works there is ALWAYS and issue. I tried to ask her what she meant but she just got all huffy. I told her I wanted to go with him anyway, that I felt from talking with him and his current trainee that it would be a good situation for me. Still huffy she informed me I had to go home to wait for him then and she would submit it to the planners. Hoping she can't tank my career right off! Probably call on Monday to see where we are at with it, not really looking forward to talking with her.☹️

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Old School's Comment
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The only downside is that he won't be available until December 1st

I think you're mistaken here. There's lots of downsides to this.

Amber, you just learned something. You circumvented your driver coordinator's plans. She wants to get you on the road NOW. You want to wait for a "good trainer." This has nothing to do with Facebook. It has to do with timing and chain of command.

One thing about trucking that is completely misunderstood by most drivers is this whole layer of management thing. There are many layers of management. Each one required to be measuring and reporting on the one below it. We drivers are at the lowest level. We have only ourselves to manage. One of our most important jobs is to make it so the level above us has an easy time dealing with us.

You and your husband need to start at close to the same time. The company wants to make you into a productive team. If you wait two weeks, and your husband starts now, you're causing another two week delay (maybe more) for your husband later on. Two weeks of not driving is huge for new CDL drivers. That's why companies want to hire people immediately following truck driving school. Your barely a driver anyway - your new skills go south really quickly if you're not driving. They have a term for this it's called having a "stale" CDL. Most companies won't hire someone with a stale license.

One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is rocking the boat during training. They have their misconceptions about training, and they allow their fears of "getting a bad trainer" dictate how they proceed. I say get over it! Training is uncomfortable. You are just going to be stressed during that time. In fact your next year is going to be somewhat stressful. It's trucking - it should be obvious it's not easy to make a good start at this. The statistics of failure rates are daunting.

I'm not trying to scare you. I'm just trying to get you to muster the courage to jump right in here. I would go with your driver coordinator's recommendation. Get the ball rolling. Training is not anything like what you are thinking it should be. It's exposure to the realities out here. It's a time for you to show you have the grit to do an incredibly challenging job. You are only hurting yourself by waiting.

It's not good (as a newbie) to already appear as "smarter" than your driver coordinator. There's nothing that frustrates our managers more than throwing a kink in their plans and purposes. Honestly, if she can find you a trainer, I would go with whomever she comes up with.

I know this isn't what you were expecting, nor is it what you wanted to hear, but I'm hoping you see the importance of the points I'm making. You're the new guy on the job. Right now you need to cooperate and make every effort at getting this early stuff behind you. There is so much to learn at this point. You need to get started. You have got the entire year ahead of you. It's all going to be challenging, educational, and ultimately rewarding. You need to cooperate really well at this point if you want them to be helpful and supportive to you in the future.

Go get 'em Amber!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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