Rookie Advice - Working Out Flatbed Training

Topic 29167 | Page 1

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Cameron B.'s Comment
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So once the winter is over and we see how the economy is going I plan to get my CDL and get on the road. First company choice to join is TMC, I like their setup but I have a few issues that I need to address before then. I'm a 34 year old male and in moderately good shape, I could lose a few pounds (6' 2" 219 pounds) and workout more but we are going to change that soon :) The BIG plus to TMC was having weekends off, I want to take care of my parents property and either TMC or Melton allow me to be home enough to do it and start earning better pay. I average about $32,000 (pre-tax) + $8,200 in side work (I "report" every dollar of this) plus an additional $9600 profit from a rental I own next door to my parents.

So my story. I herniated/fractured my L3 about 3 years ago, by the time I knew I done it, it had already healed. You might ask "how did you not know?"....well it didn't hurt after the incident so I thought I dodged a bullet, and about 2 months after I started having horrible back spasms. Went to a chiro and this is what he told me, my back is probably 80% now, I have to lift properly and I have to go in for adjustments every 2-3 months currently to keep in good condition.

Trucking lifestyle in general doesn't scare me, but I worry about tarp weight (silly I know), I'm not afraid of heights, I love to get physical, and I really love to strap down and haul equipment with my current company. I think flatbed is the next step up and it will unlock a LOT of jobs locally for me if I want to come home daily.

I have a 105 pound roll of vinyl flooring in my shed (similar size to a tarp) and I had struggled more then I thought but I was able to lift it, TMC drivers mention with winter/rain to be capable of 140 pounds.

What workouts do you guys do to strengthen your body to handle the physical requirements of flatbed trucking?

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.
Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

If you were unaware of the injury for several months, you wouldn’t be alone! Anywhere from 50-60% of American adults with herniated discs reported no signs of pain or even discomfort before diagnosis during routine examinations. It’s impossible to estimate how many are walking around with hernias right now who won’t ever get diagnosed.

Are you asking about workouts that current flatbed drivers are doing now from the road? (Full disclosure: I am not yet a driver.)

Or rather, are you asking about workouts to prepare for the work once you start?

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Cameron,

Flatbedding is not as physical as I thought I would be. I went to the gym to lift weights to get prepared for the physical challenges of flatbed work. When I was in TNT , my trainer shared a story of watching a one-armed woman secure a load. So, the physical challenges are not as bad as you might think. I probably over-prepared.

That being said, tarps are heavy. Prime's yard tarps weigh probably about 120 lbs. The issued tarps are between 70 and 100 lbs. Most of the time you will have help with them, such as the forklift operator putting them on to of the load. I have had only one instance where I needed to haul lumber tarps (our heavier ones) up on a high load. Most of the time, the tarped loads are shorter in height.

Beyond tarp weights there are other precarious aspects of flabedding. I had a load of Bobcats out of North Dakota. It was 14 degrees and there was snow on the trailer. The aluminum trailers are slick to begin with but at a layer of snow/ice and it's like a skating rink. And getting on loads generally, requires paying attention to where you are stepping. Walking on onions is a challenge. Building material loads are a challenge, if you have to tarp them.

See the picture below:

0787313001606398716.jpgTMC Orientation Video

https://www.tmctrans.com/drive-for-tmc/new-to-trucking/class-a-cdl-training-program/

Hope this helps.

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Benjamin T.'s Comment
member avatar

Is that a picture of a Lowes load?? If it is, no wonder I hear how most everyone hates those loads.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

Is that a picture of a Lowes load?? If it is, no wonder I hear how most everyone hates those loads.

That is an MBCI load one of Prime's major customers.

I actually had to tarp one of their loads which is unusual but not as bad as the one in the picture.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
What workouts do you guys do to strengthen your body to handle the physical requirements of flatbed trucking?

Hello Cameron, it's good you're thinking about physical preparation because flatbedding can be tough on the body, especially in the beginning while you're learning.

I would work on flexibility and core strength exercises similar to cross-fit type workouts.

I love flatbedding. It's not for everyone. You should know within the first few months if it's the type freight you want to haul.

Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck.

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