Millis Transfer Training Diary

Topic 28664 | Page 2

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tripletdad's Comment
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Well, I got through the first week. I’m sitting at home now and figured I’d update. Friday was a terminal lot driving day. It went pretty well. Pre-trip, Straight line backing and the Millis 500, but this time with an extra 53’ of trailer attached. Aside from needing practice on figuring out distances, I did pretty well. When backing, I think I’m right to the rear barrel. GOAL, and nope. I’ve got 6 feet still. Get back in the truck and back up 2, maybe 3 feet and GOAL again and I’ve hit the barrel. So distance needs some work, but Bill says it comes with practice and we (well, most) are doing great. I back up the truck and I’m learning the small corrections and all so I’m confident I’ll have it down by the time I test out. Driving with the trailer was fun. Nerve wracking the first lap, but by the end of the day, check your mirrors constantly and it’s not difficult. In other news, we got our Qualcomm codes and did some more log book practice. Finished up Friday at 3:00 and I drove home to see my wife and kids for the weekend. Back at it for week 2 on Monday morning at 6am.

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
John R.'s Comment
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Thanks for relaying the info, I'm signed up and ready to go for the Sept 28th class!

Pete E Pothole's Comment
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Bill is an excellent instructor and a great person. I didn't go to school in Trenton but chat with him when I get to the terminal and the opportunity arises. This next week is the tough one. I'm not trying to scare you, just want you to expect the stress, don't add to it yourself by expecting perfection. Welcome to Millis, may run into you sometime and I can congratulate you in person.

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.

tripletdad's Comment
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I fully expect this to be the toughest week. Long as I get the hang of it, I figure my trainer will get me plenty of practice to get better at it, right?

Bill is an excellent instructor and a great person. I didn't go to school in Trenton but chat with him when I get to the terminal and the opportunity arises. This next week is the tough one. I'm not trying to scare you, just want you to expect the stress, don't add to it yourself by expecting perfection. Welcome to Millis, may run into you sometime and I can congratulate you in person.

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.

tripletdad's Comment
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Week 2, day 1–

Today was pretty intense. Alley dock and parallel parking all day long. By the end of the day, I was hot, tired, and ready to take a nap, but I was alley docking like a guy That’s been alley docking for a day. Same with the parallel parking. I will say this. Backing was my biggest fear with coming here. I’ve never been in a truck before last week, and I’ve not backed anything. Today, I’m setting up for my alley dock, and I’m straight line backing without a second thought. If anyone is nervous about it, just know it’s doable. You won’t be perfect, and I’m still learning how far 53’ is, but I’m getting it done. Just a couple more days of range tricks, and then we are road driving only the rest of class. Tomorrow morning is my turn to do the pre-trip on the t-2000, so I’m gonna study and then get to sleep. We had a test in Friday for the first week, all four of us passed.

Have a great night!

tripletdad's Comment
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Week 2, day 2–

Today we started at 6:00am again. I got to do my first pre-trip. I did pretty well. Forgot a few things like brake chambers on the trailer and didn’t mention 105psi for the tires, but overall I did pretty well. I’ll get plenty of practice. After that, we did more backing exercises. The blind side parallel park and the offset lane change. Everything just sort of came together today. Tomorrow will be a full day of all the maneuvers and then Thursday will be the first day out on the road. We got out of there today at 5:00. I came back to the hotel, got some dinner and I’m exhausted now at 9:30.

Peter M.'s Comment
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I LOVE these threads! Keep up the good work, brother.

PackRat's Comment
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I LOVE these threads! Keep up the good work, brother.

Will we ever see one from you, Peter?

tripletdad's Comment
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Week 2, day 4

I forgot to update my diary yesterday. Another day of range driving. We were tested on the backing maneuvers, and I passed them all. Today was our first day out on the road. We left Trenton at 6am. At 6:01, we were stopped and waiting for a train, which is really common with the Trenton terminal... Anyway, a little later, we were on our way. Another student drove first, 91 miles of two lane routes. Through some small villages and towns, up to Celina, Ohio. We stopped at a mom and pop truck stop, and switched drivers. I was #2 driver. The first few minutes, I was nervous as could be. 40mph felt like 110mph. The truck seemed like it was WIDER than the lanes I was in, and forget keeping the trailer in the right lane. After a few minutes, my nerves calmed down some, and I realized that the trailer does stay where its supposed to, and I was taking curves and stuff just like I was taught. Left and right turns take up a LOT more space than I was expecting, but as Bill pointed out, every other semi truck turning at the same place takes just as much space to make a turn. Overall, I did well, and finished my 91 miles ready to keep going. Drivers 3 and 4 did the same up and back route that we did, with the exception of stopping for lunch at a TA at I-70 and SR 127 with driver #3 where we experienced the "joys" of parking a semi. It was rough for the student driving at that time, but he got backed into a parking spot eventually and we went and got lunch.

Tomorrow is gonna be another driving day. Bill won't tell us where, so we are expecting it'll be less enjoyment, more figuring out tight spaces, so we are collectively thinking Downtown Cincinnati or downtown Dayton. I guess we will find out tomorrow. For now, I'm back in my hotel room, and getting a little hungry, so I'm thinking of ordering a pizza and staying in the rest of the night.

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.

tripletdad's Comment
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Well, I’ve got two weeks down now. One week left until I go out with my trainer.

As we thought yesterday was a day of city driving. Right turns are intense. Will I ever get used to swinging out like that on a tight turn? Also, why do street engineers make concrete medians in the middle of a street? Sheesh. My armpits were getting sweaty from driving. Did great, though. Made the turns like I should, and all was well.

Now I’m back home for the weekend and we leave Monday morning at 3am for a long drive to Wisconsin. I should have done this a long time ago

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