Griffin CDL Diary- Wilson Logistics

Topic 27568 | Page 3

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Griffin's Comment
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Well we've reached the end of week 1 with my trainer Charles and I've learned a considerable amount. Our first load together was a bunch of newspaper rolls that went from Missoula MT down to Denver CO through lots of snow and steep grades (which are fun to learn about and IN by the way). The drive was decent to say the least, the worst parts of it was waking up every day to a cold truck despite us running the heater relentlessly (can't beat 5 degrees and snow can you) and then having to do the pre-trip inspection under those same conditions. It seems that there isn't really a shortage of loads for the Western 10 division of Wilson either, since we dropped off the newspaper load at the Denver Wilson terminal we haven't stopped running which is nice to be a part of. The next load we got out of Denver after wrangling in a new trailer brought us right back up to Missoula which was a beer load heading out to a local beverage company called Summit. Before we could drop that load off, we received another pre-plan for the load we are currently on right now which is flour heading down from Great Falls MT to northern California. My trainer seems to be really genuine with his attempts at making sure I have everything I need to pass that CDL test on the first go around (I mean I would be to if I got paid $800 for my student passing with no issues). But I cannot complain, so far this entire process has been a solid one and I'd seriously recommend anyone who is considering going to CDL school to invest themselves in Wilson Logistics. Plenty of backing help, plenty of wiggle room to make things fair between dispatch and your needs, and the truck that you are in isn't all that bad starting out (we're in a freight.. can't speak for the Pete's that they have on the lot).

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Griffin's Comment
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What's going on everybody reading/following along!! So, a bunch of stuff has happened in the past three weeks or so that I've been gone from Vegas. Since my last post I have been routed back to Missoula and have been here for about 5 days now in which I prepared a little more for my CDL skills test which actually happened yesterday at 2pm MST. I passed with no errors on the pre-trip (I got lucky and only had to do the engine compartment along with coupling, in-cab, and air brakes), 2 points on my offset backing, none on the alley dock, and none on straight backing! This entire process with Wilson has been seamless and I strongly suggest any newbie or adventurer looking to get into a career with truck driving to check out Wilson and give them a chance. Now that I am a C seat, my trainer will be grabbing me from Missoula tomorrow 3/6 and we will be heading out into the unknown as a team in which i'll be making no less than $600 a week for starters (which isn't bad considering after a month or so I'll be making .46 cpm after reaching 20,000 miles with my fellow teammate). I'm always cruising this site for more info so if anyone has any Wilson related questions I'm game to answer those for the people who can't find much. Cheers!

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
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Congratulations Griffin, that's awesome! Well earned!

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Rookie Doyenne's Comment
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Congratulations, Griffin! Best rollin' forward! dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

SRJ's Comment
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Glad to hear your adventure is going good. Looking forward to reading your updates. I’ve had some correspondence with one of their recruiters recently.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Great job! Keep us updated as you progress through training if you have time

PackRat's Comment
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Super!

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Old School's Comment
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Nice!

I'm sure some people think it's silly, but I really get a kick out of seeing you guys progress in your training and your careers.

I know how challenging this can be. It's the challenges that motivate me. People respond differently to change and challenge. That which crushes one person seems to put fire in another. I was challenged relentlessly when I jumped into this as a second career at the age of 53. I turned 60 last month, and I seriously believe I could enjoy doing this for another 15 years.

Griffin's Comment
member avatar

It's been a while but here we go on another update. Since I have become a "C" seat driver (Wilson's program starts you at a D seat and moves you through all the way up to A seat where you're on your own) my co driver and I have done a little over 6,000 miles in a week and a half which isn't bad considering I need the truck to get to 10,000 miles before I upgrade again to a B2 seat (more pay). Since he's a lease op we try to complete as many loads as we can within our Sunday to Sunday pay period and as of now we're hovering around 4ish per week (takes us about a day and a half sometimes weather permitting to complete 1,200 mile runs). I'm still very much enjoying the career swap that I made and the entire experience has been very cool to say the least so there's that. We are currently stopped at a TA outside of Sparks, NV because the I-80 is shut down courtesy of a few accidents and a 70 mile stretch of snow (in which we don't feel like chaining up for). With all of this crazy virus stuff going on in the world I'm still trying to understand how we're gonna make it down into our flour load's destination which is Fremont, CA with most of the Bay Area being shut down but I suppose this is part of the adventure too. Hope everyone's staying safe!

Anne A. (G13MomCat)'s Comment
member avatar

It's been a while but here we go on another update. Since I have become a "C" seat driver (Wilson's program starts you at a D seat and moves you through all the way up to A seat where you're on your own) my co driver and I have done a little over 6,000 miles in a week and a half which isn't bad considering I need the truck to get to 10,000 miles before I upgrade again to a B2 seat (more pay). Since he's a lease op we try to complete as many loads as we can within our Sunday to Sunday pay period and as of now we're hovering around 4ish per week (takes us about a day and a half sometimes weather permitting to complete 1,200 mile runs). I'm still very much enjoying the career swap that I made and the entire experience has been very cool to say the least so there's that. We are currently stopped at a TA outside of Sparks, NV because the I-80 is shut down courtesy of a few accidents and a 70 mile stretch of snow (in which we don't feel like chaining up for). With all of this crazy virus stuff going on in the world I'm still trying to understand how we're gonna make it down into our flour load's destination which is Fremont, CA with most of the Bay Area being shut down but I suppose this is part of the adventure too. Hope everyone's staying safe!

Thanks for the update, Griffin~! Many of us read, but don't respond...just so you know.... :) Stay safe out there, and update on the Bay Area situation, as you are able. Bet that'll be interesting, at best~!

Best wishes,

Anne

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