Roehl Phase 2 Training – Sept - Oct 2020

Topic 29002 | Page 1

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Verminator's Comment
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My Phase 2 training is complete. I tested out on Friday, 10/16/20, and will go out with a flatbed day cab on Monday and Tuesday, in order to get some tarping and chain securement experience, as I have been on a curtainside rig for the last three weeks. On Wednesday, I should be assigned a truck, and get started with my first solo load!

Testing out at the Gary terminal was straightforward, consisting of coupling to a loaded flatbed trailer, performing a thorough pre-trip, walking the instructor through an in-cab brake check, driving around Gary on both surface streets and freeway, followed by a return to the terminal for a backing maneuver into a tight spot between two trailers (took me a couple of tries), and ending with de-coupling from the trailer. I passed without issues, other than allowing my tandems to cross a double yellow for a moment on a tight left hand turn. As I said to the examiner, “not my finest moment!”

I had intended to post regular updates during my Phase 2 training, as I did for the Phase 1 Get Your CDL program, but I had underestimated the amount of free time I would have available. Like, big time. The pace of operations during Phase 2 training was definitely the most unexpected factor for me. I had envisioned that we would be given relatively simple loads, with long timelines, allowing plenty of extra time for practicing load securement, backing, learning about operations such as logging, workflow processes, company paperwork, etc.

Oh, my goodness, no. I was quickly relieved of this misconception.

We ran at a frenetic pace, and it was not uncommon for me to drive my full 11 hours each day (or very close to it), with my trainer taking over to push on for another hour or two before shutting down for the night. I often thought that I should post a quick update at day’s end, but I valued those few extra minutes of rest too much to even dig out the PowerBook.

We hauled a variety of product, including solid & hollow core doors, steel racking, huge Cummins industrial engines, OSB sheeting, Aluminum coils, and concrete pavers. As my trainer operates a curtainside, we secured using only straps.

Our travels took us through Indiana (my home state), Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. I had never been to several of these states before, and the constantly changing scenery was a real thrill. At one point in Kentucky, driving down a rural highway through rolling verdant hills interspersed with red barns and white rail fences, I said to my trainer "THIS is why I wanted to be a truck driver!"

My trainer was great, and was very patient. We had no serious conflicts, although tempers ran slightly high on one occasion when we were behind schedule and I was making mistakes regarding workflow on the DriverTech PC. No big deal. I knew from studying posts here that living with a stranger in a phone booth for a month would be no picnic, so I actually expected more conflict, and was prepared to muddle through as necessary. We shared similar senses of humor and tastes in music for the most part, and got along very well. Although he did have a predilection for banjo music. Now, don’t get me wrong - I love a good banjo tune or two. But all day?!?

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Overall, I have no complaints regarding Roehl’s Phase 2 training. I do have some suggestions that I think could improve efficiency of operations, but they are minor. Once I have a couple of days tarping and chaining experience, I feel confident that I’ll be ready to hit the road solo.

I hope to meet some of you TT members out there soon! Drive safe!

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Tandems:

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".

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations!

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