Dean Of Mack's CDL Training Diary

Topic 27354 | Page 3

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PackRat's Comment
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Good luck starting tomorrow on this adventure!

andhe78's Comment
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Surprised you got a two year medical card if you’re on a cpap.

This site does promote company paid training, but it’s not the end of the world to go the private route. I did and had no problems being successful in this industry.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Dean R.'s Comment
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First day in the books! Seemed like a standard orientation day - rules, regulations, student conduct, etc. Received my books - Rand McNally Motor Carrier Road Atlas, two paper log books, and a copy of the current FMCSA Safety Regs and a Tractor Tractor Driving Training Manual. Paper Log Books - we will be keeping track of our in-cab time, miles, etc. No ELD's in the college's trucks.

Since I already have my CLP and Medical Card I get Wednesday off. Thursday morning we will learn about the trucks we will be driving and preparing to "take over the town." No trailers, just basic maneuvering. For those who never operated a manual transmission they will get extra attention. Good thing there are diesel mechanic students nearby - someone has to get the metal shavings out of the gear boxes. ;-)

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Dean R.'s Comment
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Surprised you got a two year medical card if you’re on a cpap.

This site does promote company paid training, but it’s not the end of the world to go the private route. I did and had no problems being successful in this industry.

My CPAP has a cellular connection. My doctor can download the data and keep me honest.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Rob T.'s Comment
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My CPAP has a cellular connection. My doctor can download the data and keep me honest.

most companies require that so they can be sure you're staying compliant with your usage. I also use a CPAP and was told I can only get a 1 year card despite 29 out of 30 days usage. When you get hired for any trucking job you'll need a new DOT physical so make sure you keep the usage in the acceptable range and don't be surprised if in the future you're only issued only a 1 year card. I look forward to seeing how school goes for you.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Dean R.'s Comment
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Day 2 in the books! Today was a class day full of CDL knowledge and basic operating procedures. The school had a mockup of an airbrake system mounted to a large wooden panel connected to the building's air compressor. Very cool to see the system operate up close. (I forgot to take a photo but I will...). It looks we will all get our own truck for the range time and share a truck with another student and instructor for the road. Also took my "wiz quiz" today. You veterans know what I'm talking about. The good ole urinalysis.

The instructor is gathering at least 8, possibly 10, local regional-operating carriers to visit. With a 98.5% placement rate the odds are good. That's a good rate for West Central Illinois. The megas will be there also - Schneider, Crete, JB Hunt, etc. I'm hopeful for Dot Transportation and Don Hummer. Regional runs, very good home time, newer equipment.

More tomorrow...

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Papa Pig's Comment
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Sounds similar to my training Dean. We are on the same steps, same day. though I have to get my physical tomorrow. I don’t know if they had you fill out a blanket application for companies but if they do make a separate email just for that, infilled it out yesterday and already had 15 emails from different companies, and they started calling right away..

Dean R.'s Comment
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Week #1 in the books. Some of us had our DOT physical and CLP in hand so all we had to do was the urinalysis. The good ole "wiz quiz." Started reading the course book, "Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual" by J.J. Keller. Due to our course being PTDI certified we have to do specific studying on topics such as communication, the Smith System, health, etc. One of the instructors performed a slow but thorough pre-trip inspection of one of the Macks we will be using to test. A Mack Vision with a MP-8 and a 10 speed Eaton-Fuller transmission. We actually have to pass the school's pre-trip and driving test before we go test with the state. The school's pre-trip is more comprehensive than the state test.

No class tomorrow. Off to the driving range Tuesday.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

G-Town's Comment
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We actually have to pass the school's pre-trip and driving test before we go test with the state. The school's pre-trip is more comprehensive than the state test.

When attending any school be it private or Paid CDL Training Programs a student is required to graduate with the training certificate confirming they satisfactory met the requirements of the 160 hour course.

You mentioned your schools PTI is more comprehensive than the state test. Can you be more specific?

Good luck.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
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You mentioned your schools PTI is more comprehensive than the state test. Can you be more specific?

I can't speak for Deans experience but the study guide I was given at school was much more detailed with the wording than the state exam required. I was even told this by the examiner while we were doing my road test. At that particular DMV they refer to the students from that school as Rays' Robots because instructor is named Ray and he has a pass rate for trifecta of roughly 90%. Of course most of that is due to a students willingness and ability to learn and listen. I wish I'd kept the paper the study guide we were given.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

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