Starting School Soon!

Topic 29278 | Page 2

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SRJ's Comment
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Good luck to you. Bring warm clothes. Measuring a balmy 12 degrees currently and I am 30 minutes due north of Milwaukee. Most likely a bit cooler in Marshfield.

J R.'s Comment
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Good luck to you. Bring warm clothes. Measuring a balmy 12 degrees currently and I am 30 minutes due north of Milwaukee. Most likely a bit cooler in Marshfield.

Anything above about 5 below is great as long as there is no wind! I don't foresee that being the case, however. Layers it will need to be! Thanks for the weather update ... I almost forgot how cold it got up there!

J R.'s Comment
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Well, I haven't written to update on my training for this first week. These days have been busy, especially with the JJ Keller videos that seem to be never ending. I have finished them today though! While not having class today was a bit of a downer in that I didn't get the chance to make a fool of myself once again with shifting, I was able to use the time to get those videos out of the way so I can really focus on pretripping!

As for the rest of this past week, it has been lots of classroom time for days 1 and 2, and some driving practice for days 3 and 4. We did some backing yesterday, and I think I actually did better on that than on going forward! The shifting is giving me issues due to deep clutching and the occasional forgetting to flip the high/low switch. Focus, focus, focus!! I think I am stalling it a lot less now, though :)

Tomorrow is classroom time, and our day off on Sunday will be taken up by more driving practice which I am REALLY grateful for. I don't know what I was thinking training on a manuel! As if I didn't have enough to learn already. (I know it is about future possibilities, but I can't help but wonder why I always seem to take the more difficult path.)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
SRJ's Comment
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Glad to read your update. I start on the 11th and will be training on a manual transmission as well. The trainer prefers that we get our CDL without the restriction. A bit nervous myself with having to develop that skill. Good luck with your further training and I hope it becomes easier for you.

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.
J R.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 8: Tuesday - Week 2.

This morning was my worst drive yet! It was one of those that makes me wonder if I will ever be able to learn to shift and not be a hazard on the road. Missing and grinding gears, stalled twice, coasted more than a couple of times. ... if I were ever going to give up, this would have been the time it would have happened!

Fortunately, I made it to the switch off point, the other trainee drove for an hour, and I was given the choice to drive again or go back to the yard and work on backing. I chose the latter. The trainer demonstrated the off-set back and the 90 degree back and then have me perform them with him walking me through. Not bad at all! I drive better backwards than forward!! That darn clutch and shifting!!!

We then went around the range practicing my shifting a bit and then back out on the road! This time it went a bit better. Still grinding a bit (and a bit of popping the clutch) but no stalls ... AND I haven't hit anything!! smile.gif dancing-banana.gif

We then went back to the yard and practiced 45s just to change things up a bit. Again, not too bad!

Tomorrow will be back out on the road driving forward ... It was suggested I wear lighter shoes in order to be able to feel the clutch better, so I will do that and see if it actually helps. If it does, perhaps I will get my forward movement down as well as my back.... And hopefully be able to do all consistently to pass my test next week (that comes up so fast!!!)

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
J R.'s Comment
member avatar

Well, the past few days have been a bit of a roller coaster. Friday afternoon they found me an automatic, which has helped my driving tremendously! I probably could have gotten it if they would have done a week of shifting practice/instruction as I hear they used to, but with the shortened time frame, it just wasn't happening.

Switching to the automatic took me from being what was essentially a distracted driver to one who is attuned to everything around me. I am still having issues with my backing, but my road driving has been really good... just need to polish those left turns a bit.

I am not sure what it is about those backs that is killing me, but it appears to be the set up... especially the 90! I can't quite judge where I should be. The distance from the truck/trailer to the box is generally easy, but how far to pull up in front of the box is still somewhat of a mystery. I can't seem to locate any landmarks to judge the correct spot in which to begin. I will try again tomorrow, I suppose.

My strait back is pretty easy as long as I remember not to keep over correcting. The offset is a little troublesome at the moment as well. just more practice I think. I test on Thursday, so I don't have a lot of time to get ready, but it should be enough!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Happily following, J.R. ~!!

That's awesome they've switched you into an auto . . . finally focus on the 'good stuff,' eh?

Wishing you the best of luck on Thursday! << Stay focused .. & you got this!

~ Anne ~

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

J R.'s Comment
member avatar

Happily following, J.R. ~!!

That's awesome they've switched you into an auto . . . finally focus on the 'good stuff,' eh?

Wishing you the best of luck on Thursday! << Stay focused .. & you got this!

~ Anne ~

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

Yeah, now I don't have to focus on being such a hazard! rofl-3.gif

Thanks for the encouragement for Thursday! It is a little nerve wracking as it is a test, but I am getting lots of practice as the only trainee in my truck now.. They are trying to get me caught up on everything I missed when trying to fruitlessly develop the ability to use that stupid clutch!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

that stupid clutch!

JR, in may be not wise to say so - you never know how much clutching the destiny has prepared for you. This CDL test is only a beginning, definitely not an end point. Here is a Russian anecdote: In the Soviet Union all religions were banned, so one day a school teacher told her 1st graders that there is no god, and to prove it she asked them to give god a finger. Everybody did it, but one Jewish boy refused. "What's wrong with you, Joseph?" - asked the teacher. "You see, - answered the boy, - if god doesn't exist, whom am I showing a finger? And if he does exist, why should I spoil my relationship with him?"

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.

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

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