Making The Jump

Topic 28793 | Page 2

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PackRat's Comment
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Following along. Wishing you continued success daily.

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OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Alex's Comment
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Day two went well. No issues getting my papers transferred over to MT, in fact I did better on the permit test the second time around. Simulator went well, only ran over one plow marker making a turn onto the onramp because I was watching the trailer more than the nose of the truck. I hit a deer, but it was either that or take out the AI traffic beside me so the instructor still said it was definitely the right call. I did have a truck rear end and go through me after another emergency stop scenario, but both the simulator and instructor didn't count it against me. Mainly just need to take turns a hair bit wider, but I wasn't hitting curbs or cutting the corners which was one of the main things besides backing I was worried about. Good to know the hours I put into American Truck Simulator are coming in handy!

Tomorrow we're doing the pretrip and coupling/uncoupling, then it sounds like backing practice Thursday and Friday then out with a trainer by Saturday.

Alex's Comment
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Day three in the books, the coupling and uncoupling went well. It was fairly self explanatory once you got into it. The most surprising part of it was how stiff the brakes were, and how touchy they were when they kick in.

The pretripping went decently. I should've use the checklist for the mock air brake test, but I wanted to see how I'd do without it. Between nerves and being completely unfamiliar with the truck it could've gone better, but I'm certain doing it on a daily basis with the trainer will take care of it. Didn't help that I was under the impression we were only doing the exterior portion of it today and focusing on in cab Thursday and Friday when we do some actual driving. The exterior portion went much better, my mock test for that was the coupling system. I only had to use the checklist towards the end to double check I'd gotten everything.

All in all I'm confident I'll be ready come test time in a few weeks.

Alex's Comment
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Day four and five were mainly backing, with a bit of pretrip while we waited for others to take their turns on the pad. I know I have the entire pretrip down, I just need to do it until it's muscle memory because I'm a nervous test taker. I would've aced both the exterior and the in cab 'test' but I got nervous thinking I missed multiple things at one point and forgot to point out one of the more simple things, the u bolts on the drive suspension. My only mistake on the in cab was I forgot to shut the truck off before the applied pressure test, but I caught myself after I did it and would've been able to tell the examiner I needed to restart. There was one other thing, after the screwup with the applied pressure test I forgot to retrieve my wheel chock before saying I was done.

On the plus side I have the straight and offset back down, as well as a method to help make sure my dot bumper is in the box for the test in a couple weeks. I get the general idea of the 90 and can do it with minimal help as far as getting the end result of it being in the box where it needs to be, but we were mainly focused on doing it and not worrying about the pull ahead limit line we'd have to deal with on the test and I know I still have several encroachments I need to figure out how to solve while staying behind the line. My main issue with that is just needing more practice knowing when to start turning to get the trailer to react when I want it to.

I did get in touch with my over the road trainer and he won't be here until midday Tuesday because he needed a 34, so I should only have to share the pad with another guy that's retaking his test this coming week. He said after the extra couple days of backing practice he'd most likely let me drive immediately when we leave, so I'm excited for that. I guess he usually handles the driving on the first day so the trainee can observe and ask any questions.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Alex's Comment
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Quick little update, I was finally able to meet up with my trainer and get moved into the truck. We went more or less around the corner to the nearest Loves and parked for the night, load he's got doesn't need to be dropped off until tomorrow morning.

Got a quick little tour of the tractor and how some of the stuff on the elogs work. I was pleasantly surprised by how roomy the top bunk in a new Cascadia is. Granted I'm not much more than 5'5" depending on which convenience store I'm leaving, but there's plenty of room on top of the cabinets and at the foot of my bunk for my stuff and I can sit up and still have a few inches of headroom. My only gripe would have to be there's no outlets up top, but at least I've got a vent.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Alex's Comment
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It's been awhile. Between driving and getting everything taken care of as far as preparing for the test I didn't have a whole lot of free time.

The last bit of training went well and I passed my test a few days ago and I'm back on the truck now for about another 30k then it's my solo week. If the timing works right it should be just in time to go home for Christmas.

Right now we're sitting at the TA in Denver waiting to pickup our load at 1830, the downtime is kind of nice if I'm being honest. It looks like they have us set up to do runs back and forth from Salt Lake the rest of this week.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
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It's been awhile. Between driving and getting everything taken care of as far as preparing for the test I didn't have a whole lot of free time.

The last bit of training went well and I passed my test a few days ago and I'm back on the truck now for about another 30k then it's my solo week. If the timing works right it should be just in time to go home for Christmas.

Right now we're sitting at the TA in Denver waiting to pickup our load at 1830, the downtime is kind of nice if I'm being honest. It looks like they have us set up to do runs back and forth from Salt Lake the rest of this week.

It's so good to see you are still in the game, and 'making it' .. .. ( I know....OLD, old song.... singing it in my head for ya! )

I follow, just don't post with not much to say, tbh... CONGRATS on the passing, for sure, man~!! 30K to the final finish line.... YAY~!! (i bet the downtime IS kinda cool....enjoy it whilst you can~!)

~ Anne ~

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Alex's Comment
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Another quick update just to let y'all know I'm still around. Nothing worth noting lately, same old same old as far as the loads have gone.

I did get to find out what it feels like to hit black ice in the truck a few days ago coming through some freezing fog though, luckily it was on a straight section coming out of a corner and I just let it ride the rumble strip until we were clear. My trainer took over a few miles after that, of course as soon as we switched out the fog lifted and it was all clear the rest of the day.

I'm still on track to be in my own truck just in time to go home for Christmas which will be nice. My next update will most likely be sometime then.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
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Another quick update just to let y'all know I'm still around. Nothing worth noting lately, same old same old as far as the loads have gone.

I did get to find out what it feels like to hit black ice in the truck a few days ago coming through some freezing fog though, luckily it was on a straight section coming out of a corner and I just let it ride the rumble strip until we were clear. My trainer took over a few miles after that, of course as soon as we switched out the fog lifted and it was all clear the rest of the day.

I'm still on track to be in my own truck just in time to go home for Christmas which will be nice. My next update will most likely be sometime then.

Getting close . . don't forget usn's~! Hope all is going well with this 'less than stellar' weather all over the place. Wish you well!

good-luck.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck-2.gif good-luck.gif

~ Anne ~

Alex's Comment
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Well, took a little longer than I'd hoped for but I get my truck Monday. Ended up not having the miles to get it for Christmas so they got me a rental car back for the week. Ended up having me go to Pacific WA to bring back an older Peterbilt they're getting rid of, then it's into a late 2019/early 2020 Cascadia. Didn't get a real good look at it since it was still in their detail shop getting cleaned, but first impressions were decent.

Currently sitting in the yard until tomorrow with a load going to Helena that's due there on Tuesday. Woke up far earlier than I wanted to today because it's looking like the bunk heater in this Pete went on strike. Not too big a deal, it was still cold enough outside the truck let me idle it for a bit to get things warmed back up and I'll be out of this one tomorrow morning.

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