Wilson Logistics CDL Training-Springfield, MO-May 2020

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Spartan 's Comment
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Well, I start my CDL Training at Wilson Logistics starting tomorrow. Left Houston, TX at 0545 this morning and made it into Springfield, MO by 1630 after a few stops. This was a big decision for my family and I. After several discussions with my wife, I start on this journey. I told her I couldn’t do this without her support. I was laid off on March 9th due to my position being eliminated. It really sunk in when I walked into my hotel room and started unpacking. That’s when doubt really starts messing with you. ‘Did I make the right decision?’, along with all the questions to really doubt myself. I pushed that off and said I am in this to take care of my family. I researched several companies and Wilson Logistics became my choice. The whole process from applying, speaking with Holly (recruiter) and them taking care of everything has been smooth. I applied on a Monday and was approved for CDL class in less than a week. The wait was due to this virus limiting space. I was slotted for the 25th in MT, but received a phone call asking if I would come to MO on the 11th due to a spot opening up. I said of course. I couldn’t pass up a closer drive from home (Houston) and getting this training knocked out. My plan is to document my journey. I’ve read other driver’s blogs and they helped me tremendously. Maybe my experience will help someone to make a decision when they are researching for themselves, and to provide insight on my thoughts, decision making, and ups/downs.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Good luck as you begin tomorrow morning. Pay attention, take notes, ask good questions, be early for everything, have fun.

Jakester's Comment
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Spartan, you rock it brother and keep us posted, your gonna do great, enjoy it man, I know the whole training process is different from person to person, to me it was a great experience, after 9 weeks Otr with my trainer I can honestly say it was emotional to leave, became very goo friends, I guess it’s all attitude and you will get out of it what you put into it, good luck brother

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.

Justin G.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome! After a ton of research, Wilson Logistics is my 1st choice as well and Holly is my recruiter too! Anyways, I'm excited to read about your experiences. I'll be taking the permit test pretty soon (DMVs have begun opening up in California) and will hopefully head out to training not too long after that. Good luck!

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.

Turtle's Comment
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Good luck to you. We're here to help if you need it.

icecold24k's Comment
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Good luck to you and just know you got this. Don't even worry about it. This will be an emotional roller coaster I can promise you that. Some days this will be the greatest job ever, other days you will miss home and just want to quit. You will be happy, sad, lonely, excited, literally any emotion you can imagine you will feel..Just hang an there as this is a very rewarding career and the day you get off your trainers truck and upgrade you will feel a sense of accomplishment and know you made it and that's the best feeling ever. Keep us posted.

Spartan 's Comment
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Day 1 Woke up at 0530 ( I was up and down all night) and was downstairs by 0600 to eat breakfast. Due to the virus pandemic, I order breakfast off their menu and the hotel makes it for you, but you make your own coffee and water. All good. Finish breakfast and wait in the lobby for our van to arrive, which arrived at 0645. Get to the training facility which is about 10-15 minutes away. Walk into the training room and they have your name on a name plate, along with a company hat, safety vest, pen and company folder with training agendas/material. There are 6 total of us. Four of us are new with no CDL and the other two are experienced and going lease/owner ops. They will leave on Wednesday or Thursday and be out on their own. The training started at 0730 with a video about 35-45 min long and with introductions to the trainers. We are given an overview of the company and expectations as students. This company is safety driven and that is a great attribute/culture. They collected our required documents we were to bring such as social, birth certificate, permit, med card, etc. We all went out around 0930 to do an agility test to make sure everyone can do the simple tasks such as opening the hood, climbing in/out of the truck with 3 points of contact, duck walk under trailer to check coupling and climbing in/out of trailer. After that, everyone was taken to the medical clinic for drug testing and DOT physicals. That took a while and we were there about 2.5 hours or longer. Made it back around 1330 to the training facility and ate lunch. Last part of the day consisted of training expectations and requirements. At the end of the day, we found out we are losing one of the guys from the group due to medical reasons from the DOT exam. So we will be down to 3. So far so good. Everyone in our group gets along and it was a smooth day one. We were brought back to our hotel around 1640. Back at the hotel, I have to catch up on FaceTime with my daughters. Especially my 6 year old. She texts me and FaceTimes me from our iPad at home 🤣🤣🤣 Really liking what I am seeing just from day one and ready to see more. So, away from FaceTime breaks (haha), I am studying pre-trip material, watching videos, etc. thanks again to everyone for the encouragement. If you have any questions during all of this please let me know.

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.

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.

Spartan 's Comment
member avatar

Day 2- Rainy morning which lasted all day. Started the morning going through contracts for CDL training/program. After this, started on simulators until lunch. Our instructor through some scenarios on us during the driving. Really enjoyed it. After lunch, we hit the pad to go over pre-trip for the entire tractor/trailer and requirements CDL testing. Due to only 3 of us in the class, we are getting lots of hands on time, during this process. Getting repetitions and getting that muscle memory down. After pre-trips, the other two guys had to take care of some paperwork and training videos. The instructor said c’mon and let’s go back to the pad. He let me do some straight line backing and offset. I really took advantage of this one on one time, along with picking his brain for any information.

Day 3: We were on the pad all day. We went through everything with backing such as straight line, offset, parallel and 90 degree. Instructors were very informative and stated we were way ahead of schedule. No complaints from them and they welcomed our attentiveness and hunger for learning. We all really got a lot of reps in and I can honestly say it is great. I’m glad we aren’t having to sit around and wait hours to take turns in the seat. Tomorrow is the same thing with training on the pad. Found out who my trainer OTR will be for the next few weeks until CDL testing. Met him, and we roll out Sometime on Friday.

The instructors are great at giving criticism and praise. They are there for our best interest and it shows. Can’t wait to get some training in tomorrow and get after it.

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.

Spartan 's Comment
member avatar

Been busy the last few days. Day 4 was all pad training. I definitely have down all backing requirements and nailed my in cab inspection when one of the instructors asked me to do it on the spot. I feel really good about where I am at, and just wish I could take my test. Haha. Day 5 started on the pad and left with my trainer at 1130. We went to the store to load up on groceries and get ready. We received a load picking up in Springfield and has two drops-one in AL and the other in GA. Stayed in the truck Friday night and we left to get the trailer Saturday morning. We picked up the trailer at the Prime facility, and went on our way. We didn’t push hard since we have until Monday to get to our destination in AL which is only roughly 500 miles. Stopped in Charleston, MO for the night and sat down to eat which was really nice for a change. Sunday-woke up at 3 am and left out by 345. Arrived in Gadsden, AL at the Petro around 1145. We deliver roughly 20 miles away at 0930 tomorrow morning. So it’s a bunch of sitting until tomorrow, but that’s how it goes. My trainer is awesome. We have a lot in common and he is definitely knowledgeable. I pick his brain as much as I can to get any knowledge. Well, going to study some and get some rest as well. Hope everyone has had a great weekend. I’ll update soon.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Glad to hear from you, Spartan. Was wondering...

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