New Guy Questions

Topic 28367 | Page 1

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Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Got my CDL a couple weeks ago In orientation with (I guess) my new employ that lasts for about a week.

Over the years while wanting to be a OTR driver I did some looking around and questions including this forum. I've seen many posts and conversations re a new guy with his or her trainer . I thought a trainer, some on the road one on one was customary. I think that's a good idea.

Looks like after passing orientation I'm on the road by my lonesome and I have concerns about that. Going on the premise that I pass the orientation I'm not real sure about the lack of a trainer so to speak. I'm uncomfortable with it.

Look, I'm 75 years old. I have some airplane time in small single and light twin. I have alot of boat experiance of all sizes. I think I'm a pretty savvy guy with a passable brain.

I just dont feel that with zero on the road solo experiance (or with a trainer) I'm comfortable. I was on the road 3 times with my instructor at the CDL school for maybe 30-45 minutes each time. Once with the state examiner that lasted about the same. None at all solo.

I'm very safety conscience. I'm thus far uncomfortable with me and a truck with my inexperiance. My concern to the instructor was not answered to my satisfaction. So, here I am writing to you guys and ladies.

What do ya'll say to me about this?

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.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

What company are you with? Most companies are going to pair you with a trainer after your orientation and then you'll have a trainer for 2 weeks or more.

I will say that no matter how much training you have, either with a trainer or without, you are never going to feel ready. There is always going to be the feeling in the back of your mind asking you if your ready. Personal experience here, I've been driving for 5 years now. Did almost 3 years OTR then went local and now I'm going back to OTR. I still have that voice asking me if I'm really ready to do this.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

What company are you at, and why did you choose them?

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Jakebrake and Oldschool

Thank you both for the replies

I'd rather not talk about the company that I may work for. The worry is mine in that with about 100 miles under my belt ..total miles....I'm uncomfortable with being turned loose driving 80,000 pounds or so with no real life experiance doing so. I'm not a real smart guy but I am medium smart and I hope some common sense and maybe some hard earned caution.

Today we covered coupling which was the first time for me that I ever coupled or uncoupled a trailer. I guess if I pass the orientation period by Monday or so I'll be coupling and uncoupling trailers in far away places by myself with no help or supervision. That makes me uncomfortable. I just dont think it's a good idea.

I'm not expecting anyone else to make me a safe driver but I do worry that without a trainer (so to speak) with me for a while I am not getting the OJT that just about any profession dictates having.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Mike I would say your a very smart person in that you realize the situation you are in. I have never heard of this in modern day trucking. The liability alone is through the roof.

You obtained your cdl so you have a basic understanding. It will be a rough go but applying common sense will get you off the ground, no pun intended. Ask here before you step into something too deep. What are you pulling?? Makes a big difference.

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.
Mike B.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on the cdl. There's a lot to be concerned about. The reasons the moderators are asking what company is because that is not a smart idea. I just cant imagine there csa scores are good at all. That's not safe for you or others on the road.

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.

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I would say your a very smart person in that you realize the situation you are in. I have never heard of this in modern day trucking. The liability alone is through the roof.

Mike, this is why we keep asking the company name. Nobody we've ever heard of does this. It makes no sense from a business point of view. We can't even understand how you got connected with them.

I've got to tell you it sometimes sounds like you're playing games here in our forum. If that's the case, we're going to figure it out real quick. If you're not, it seems you would answer our questions if you expect us to answer yours.

We can help you, but not without a little clarity from you.

Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

OLDSCHOOL

I am not "Playing games" on the forum. I'm not interested in any form of "games"

I have reservations about naming the trucking company because their policies are their own business and I am not here to criticize the company but to ask questions that pertain to my concerns.

I wondered if my issues were valid and asked for opinions.

These issues are mine and for me to sort out but I came to the forum to air them and seek advice.

I graduated and got my CDL from Tampa Driving School a couple weeks ago. I consider Tampa Driving School to be excellant. They delivered on their promises "as advertised" so to speak. My intro to my current employ was thru them. The class that I'm in at the moment has perhaps a dozen or so new CDL people some from Tampa Driving School, some from other schools.

I'm considering talking to the people at Tampa Driving School about my concerns. I did wish to consult the forum as well for some input and very frankly am a little taken back by the suggestion that I'm in some way "Playing games". I'm not real fond of that suggestion.

In my long time previous profession ( beginning in 1964) my employment beginning including in 2006 or so, representing my company on forums. About three or four forums answering questions for my company regarding anything asked on any subject. It was not uncommon to recieve some real hardballs, and also those that came on to "Play Games" and the like. I am not one of those people.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Hey, Mike.

If you stick with this outfit, you're going to need to spend tons of your undedicated time to skills repetition. Coupling, uncoupling, backing, tandem positioning, all of it. Even though you'vr gotten your cdl and a unit, dont be hesitant about asking drivers for assistance if needed.

Good luck, from the sound of it your outfit isn't setting you up for success.

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.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Mike C.'s Comment
member avatar

Mr Curmudgeon

Thank you for the reply.

I've mentioned that I flew airplanes a long-long time ago. Over forty years ago learning to fly as compared to "driving" an airplane today is like unto comparing the stone ages vs today. Getting to a point that you might pass the requirements to solo in an airplane did not = making you a seasoned pilot. You ask questions and you continue your education.

I have over fifty years with if it begins or ends with "Boat" I've done it. All sizes and shapes and power except for sailboats. If I taught someone to handle a boat that did not make the person qualified to do anything or go anywhere with any size boat. Only time and experiance will do that and trust me, there is no such thing as an "expert" when talking about boats. There are experianced opinions but when someone tries to tell me that he or she is an "expert" I'm hesitant .

Ok, Beginning several years ago I followed up on a wish that I began having in the sixties. I've wanted to be an OTR truck driver. Who the hell knows why? When my kids asked their mother what I was doing going to a Truck Driving School at my age her response was simple : 'Your father has wanted to do that ever since I've known him" and I married her in 19 and 60 and 4. There does' not need to be a reason I'm doing this other than I want to and have wanted to for alot of years.

If I'm going to do it I wish to do it right. Many people pass the driving school that I attended in three weeks Took me six weeks because I'm a klutz but also I learn slow.

I have serious reservations about being solo pulling a 53' trailer OTR with perhaps 100 miles experiance, and being "slow" and also an admitted klutz.

When I began actively planning on doing this going back almost four years, I looked at forums to learn. This is my choice of a forum to hang out on to ask questions and learn.

Ok, I'm 75 years old, a very slow learner, and an admitted klutz. I see people 1/2 my age ( and younger) mastering backing (for example) whereas backing gave/gives me a real tough time. I see young people with great coordination picking up skills that I have a tough time with.

I want to do it right which in my opinion does' not include my being road ready solo next Monday.

So, I ask questions and listen to people with experiance and try to learn from them. It is not my intent to question my employers policies. It is however my intent to make my decisions based on what my heart tells me but with input from you experianced guys and ladies.

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.

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.
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