My Roehl Training Adventure

Topic 27143 | Page 10

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Cowboy's Comment
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This diary has been such a "page-turner" Wild-Bill. Thank you so much for sharing everything about your experience. I have hung on every word. After reading, and re-reading many parts, I am even more confident and determined that I have made the right decision to be a long-haul truck driver and to do it through Roehl's GYCDL program. I won't be able to match yours or Wine Tasters' diaries, but I will carry on your tradition by sharing my experience through a training diary. I'm due to start in Marshfield on 13 Jan. I can't wait and your diary has both made me more excited and more serious about my pre-study.

One of the best things about these diaries is that my wife and I read them together, so she gets a "feel" for what to expect of my time there, rather than just taking my word for it. She too has a strengthened respect and admiration for our countries truck drivers (last of the cowboys), and is excited for this new chapter in our lives as well.

Can't wait to read about your Phase 2 training. God bless and Happy New Year!

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.

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.
Kenneth R.'s Comment
member avatar

I was in the class at Appleton same day you started. Passed my CDL test last Friday and home this week and meeting my otr trainer in morning. Was pretty much the same as you said. Think we got pushed harder then usual because tested out on Friday of week 3 instead of Tuesday of week 4 because of Christmas but I was OK with that. Was going to go to Marshfield but got changed the Friday before going to Appleton. We had 8 guys in class, 1 did not show up at all and the guy shearing room with him was lucky because he got room to himself the whole time. Another guy was kicked out first week because he would not listen to instructor at all,22 year old kid thought he knew everything and tried making a turn in 8th gear and nearly flipped truck, instructor told him to stop right there and he was gone. We lost one more in the second week because he could not learn to shift, they gave him extra time in the simulator to work on it and he refused to go so they let him go. I never drove a stick in the 51 years of my life and week 1 had some problems but by the 3rd week I was ok and my instructor did not correct me on my shifting, had it figured out. so out of 8 we had 4 guys pass on Friday and the 5th one already had cdl so he did not have to test. Looking forward to time with otr trainer so I can perfect my backing as that is the one thing I need work with.

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.

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.

Kenneth R.'s Comment
member avatar

I was in the class at Appleton same day you started. Passed my CDL test last Friday and home this week and meeting my otr trainer in morning. Was pretty much the same as you said. Think we got pushed harder then usual because tested out on Friday of week 3 instead of Tuesday of week 4 because of Christmas but I was OK with that. Was going to go to Marshfield but got changed the Friday before going to Appleton. We had 8 guys in class, 1 did not show up at all and the guy shearing room with him was lucky because he got room to himself the whole time. Another guy was kicked out first week because he would not listen to instructor at all,22 year old kid thought he knew everything and tried making a turn in 8th gear and nearly flipped truck, instructor told him to stop right there and he was gone. We lost one more in the second week because he could not learn to shift, they gave him extra time in the simulator to work on it and he refused to go so they let him go. I never drove a stick in the 51 years of my life and week 1 had some problems but by the 3rd week I was ok and my instructor did not correct me on my shifting, had it figured out. so out of 8 we had 4 guys pass on Friday and the 5th one already had cdl so he did not have to test. Looking forward to time with otr trainer so I can perfect my backing as that is the one thing I need work with.

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.

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.

Delco Dave's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Wild Bill, as said above, your detailed diary has been a huge help and a pleasure to read. I went on the ride along with G-Town Sunday and it cemented my decision to pursue this career. I look forward to following phase 2 of your journey

Have a Happy new Year!!!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

How're things going?

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Thanks all for the kind words and replies. I’m glad you enjoyed reading along with me. It nice to know I had folks rooting for me and waiting for the results.

It’s been tough to find time or space to write during the OTR training. It’s been going great so far. We’ve been running pretty steady. I’ve logged 1625 miles in the last 4 days. It would have been over 1800 but my trainer drove for the first half of Friday so, I only got 250 miles that day. Today was 513.

I had some personal business to take care of before New Years so I wasn’t able to go out until 1/2. I got a call on Thursday around noon that they were arranging a rental car for me that afternoon. I needed to get to Gary, IN that night to meet my trainer. I arrived in Gary around 10:45 pm. My trainer wasn’t thrilled about the timing because we needed to be on the road at 4:30. I had a tough time sleeping in the truck that first night so I was pretty exhausted the next day. Luckily we were able to take our time getting started Saturday so I got to catch up on sleep.

So far I’ve experienced a snow storm in Detroit, rush hour in Chicago and several different shippers and consignees

I’ll try to update as I can.

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.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wild-bill,

Thanks for the update.

In your profile you said you like driving. I know that you've just started OTR training, but do you still find driving the truck at least somewhat as enjoyable at driving an RV?

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Rob D, yes and no. I think it’ll be more enjoyable when I get into my own truck. For now I can’t do some of the things I would do on my own like listen to books on tape or change the radio station etc.

Driving a big semi is a lot like the motorhome once you get on the road. You get the commanding view, and It’s just plain fun to drive. However, It definitely feels a lot more like work. In my motorhome I may drive 10+ hours at times But I don’t feel the pressure to get miles in day after day like I do in the truck.

Last night we had a few options planned for truck stops. We were near the first one and I felt like I could keep going so I opted to go another hour to the next stop.

So far, we’ve been running the I80 corridor, so, not much to see in the winter time. The shorter daylight hours don’t help with the scenery much either.

Bottom line, it’s still fun, but there’s no question it’s work. I’m hoping my endurance will build. 450-500 mile days Behind the wheel get to making my butt a bit sore at the end of it.

I hope that all makes sense.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wild- bill

It all makes perfect sense and what I figured- driving as job takes some of the enjoyment out of it, even if you like to drive.

Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in Trucking.

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