Roehl Driver Training From Start To End.....

Topic 2938 | Page 10

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RabidPossum's Comment
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I'm loving your posts too, WT! I can't believe my first week at Roehl is half over already. It's exactly what I expected from reading this forum!

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Who is your instructor?

Dale...he's great!

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 11 of phase two

It has been a really long day. We were up at 0800. We had four different trailers throughout the day. We had to drop the one we unloaded late last night and pick up a step deck. We hauled a military vehicle about 100 miles and dropped it. The funny part was securing the thing on the trailer. There was another driver there and she said, "I used to use four chains to secure these but I got a message saying to use five chains." She talked about how stupid it was. I looked at the way she had chained it. She did direct chains. That means she only gets half the WLL of the chains. 6800 lbs chain rating is half. 4 chains at 3200lbs equals 12,800. The vehicle weight was just a little over 37,000 lbs. Hmmmmm, half of 37,000 is 18,500. Guess what, she actually needs six chains if they are all run direct. I mentioned that 4 chains run indirect would have a high enough WLL. She asked who was the trainer, me or Bill. OK I got the point, do it your way. What do I know. Bill asked me about what I was talking about and I explained it to him. He said he did not know that rule. Then he said he had wondered why he had seen coils with the chains X'ed through them. Know he knew why. The chains have higher WLL on indirect connections. We secured our vehicle with 4 chains indirect. The WLL rating for our set up was 28,000 lbs plus some. Much higher that what was required.

We got back to the terminal and dropped the trailer. I saw the lady sitting in her truck. She told Bill she was thinking about becoming an instructor. I thought about talking to her about the reason they had told her to use more chains but I decided against it. Some things are better left alone.

Anyway, we hung out for a couple of hours. Then we got dispatched with a fully loaded trailer to MI. It was the edge of the earth. This place was all the way up beside Lake Superior. The U. P. I have been told it is called. The drive through the hills and some crazy turns that slow you down just before a big upslope had me exhausted. We dropped our trailer and picked up another one.

We got to Iron Mountain around 2330 tonight. We dropped our trailer. We are crashing here for the night. In the morning, we pick up another loaded trailer here and take it back to Marshfield. That is where I get off the truck. Tomorrow is final test day for me. Hopefully, I do well and get my own truck. Then they will route me with my first loads towards home for a break.

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.

RabidPossum's Comment
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Good luck on your test!!

Wine Taster's Comment
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Thanks Lynn.....

Today was day 11 of my phase 2 training. All in all, an easy day. We got up in Iron Mountain and went over to pick up a load of plywood. I strapped and traped it. Bill said I did a really good job. Then we headed to Marshfeild to drop the trailer. When I hit the Marshfeild line, it was like I could no longer shift anything right. Bill laughed. He said it always happens the last day. He said I will do fine on my final test. At least one of us thinks so. For the most part, I am confident. The backing part is going to be what kills me. So, here I sit in the terminal for the weekend. I needed a re-set and some rest anyway. Monday I test out. If all goes well, I will get assigned a truck. Then they will route me home. My little girls are out of school this week so I am hoping to get home and hang out with them. As for now, I am going to sleep without having to worry about waking up.

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.

Tracee W.'s Comment
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Good luck WT,

I think you are going to do great... Sounds like you have been on the road! You will have to let us all know what truck you are in as soon as you pass the final! Then you will be headed home to your babies! Just breathe...and hope to see you soon! good-luck.gif

Wine Taster's Comment
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Thanks Tracee. Lynn, I will be in the training center on Monday morning at 0700. Also, if you are around tomorrow, you can stop by the driver lounge. I am stuck here bored out of my mind for three days. Stop in and say HI. If you don't know where it is, just use your card to come in the gate. Go around or through the fueling station. Then the blue building on the right. Turn right and then turn right again behind it. You go just a little way and can see door 36. There are driver courtesy cars parked out there. Park there and go in the door and up the steps. The driver lounge is up there. If I am not around, I am in bunk room 11.

Tracee W.'s Comment
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Hey WT! Hoping today went awesome for you and you got your own truck today! I was talking to the DMV here in Michigan and all I have to take in the COMBINATION TEST since I already have endorsements on my CLASS B, for AIR BRAKES, PASSENGER AND SCHOOL BUS (the latter two I am going to drop because if I can help it I will never drive school bus again) SO that means less $$$ when I get my CLASS A CDL. They recommended I not get enhanced until I get my CLASS A, as I will have to transfer it back to Michigan from Wisconsin once I get back here after I pass my tests. Even if I get it now and pay for it now, I will have to pay extra when I get Wisconsin Enhanced, and then pay again to have it transferred back to Michigan! AAAAAGH! That is just a little too rich for my wallet...LOL Anyway, I am pinging off the walls with excitement to get going...it is going to take forever to get to May 5th!dancing.gif I know I am not alone from the others in the truckers report waiting for their turns to head to school. Good luck, or better yet CONGRATULATIONS on getting your truck today! Fingers crossed! Keep in touch and let us all know how it goes!!

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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

RabidPossum's Comment
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WT, it was really nice meeting you today! I hope your test went well!

Lynn

Wine Taster's Comment
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Wow! Thanks ladies. It was nice meeting Lynn this morning. I was told to arrive this morning at 7 AM. I was there at 0645. You all know for me 15 minutes early is on time. Anyway, somewhere along the way, communications failed. The training staff was not aware that I was supposed to test out today. I sat around for a couple of hours and they told me to come back at 1245. Another guy that was waiting to test and I headed out to brunch. We got back around 1115 so I went back to my bunk room and took a nap. I got back around 1235. We both waited until about 1255 when the instructor took the other guy out for his test. When they got back it was about 1330 and my turn. I was more nervous for this test than when I tested for my full CDL. I was in an international truck for the past two weeks with a trainer. For the test, back in a freightliner. Yeah, I was grinding and missing gears again. We did a pre trip. I did well on that. Then we coupled to a trailer and did the pre trip on it. The air bags would not inflate on the trailer. The instructor taught me how to "bounce" the trailer to reseat the airbags. He was surprised we had not been shown that in training. It worked and the airbags came to life. Then I did the in cab check. I fumbled through it a bit but overall I did ok. Then we hit the road. I was driving pretty well except missing 7th gear over and over. It was frustrating. When I made a left turn, my trailer was just a hair over the white lie to the right when I was in the turn lane. The instructor told me to try and get closer to the curb. Then on one of the turns to the left, I turned just a bit too soon because I was rushing. The stupid stoplights are so fast in Marshfield. It turned yellow before I had even started turning and I rushed and turned. The rear tires crossed to the left of the yellow line by just a little. The instructor said I had just run over the hood of a car. Luckily there was not a car in that lane. Other than that, I did pretty well. I really was not sure if I had passed. When we got back I asked a few questions. Then the instructor said, "Let's go get the paperwork signed so you can call your fleet manager and get your new truck." PHHHHEEEEWWWWWW!

I passed! Around 1630, I was handed the keys to a 2014 Freightliner Cascadia. Just a hair over 70K miles on it. It was clean inside and out. The maintenance supervisor came outside and did a pre trip with me. He went over all the buttons and controls on the truck. They gave me a sheet of all the equipment on the truck. There was also a damage sheet to fill out. I counted all the straps, binders, bungees, chains, etc. Wait! No straps! I had to go over and find the guys in the trailer shop and get them to unlock the door to the room with all the equipment. It was the first time I was driving MY truck. I drove over to the door and got 15 straps. I was supposed to have 22. The had no more in stock. Then I needed bungees. They had 110 and I was supposed to have 120. I had to trade in a couple of lumber traps because the ones on the truck were shredded. My steel tarps looked ok. I went over all my equipment with a fine tooth comb. I took my time and tried to organize everything. It was around 2030 by the time I was done. I drove back over to park. I was checking over the truck some more. I opened the drivers box on the passenger side. Guess what was in there? All my straps and bungees. DOH! So, I had to pull the things I needed to finish stocking my truck and then drive back to the equipment room and unload almost all the stuff I had taken out. I am officially tired.

My fleet manager told me to come see her in the morning and they will start routing me home so I can get a little time off. So, tomorrow I head out all alone to pick up my first load. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. It is real now! So much more to learn but I am now a solo truck driver. It has been a long and hard road to get here. It seems like it went by so fast. Hopefully, I will get to meet some of you out on the road. As for now, happy tucking!

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
RabidPossum's Comment
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I think I saw you testing on the range, I had my fingers crossed for you!

Lynn

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