Getting Ready To Go Roehl

Topic 29790 | Page 2

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Andrey's Comment
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6504 here!

Jim W.'s Comment
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Thursday we started the day in the classroom with demonstration and discussion of backing techniques and hazards. Finished up the computer questionnaire that's supposed to match us up with our OTR trainer. Then out to the range for pre-trip, brake test practice and coupling practice. After lunch backing practice with trailer, going around the outside of the range. Our trainer took us on a familiarization ride around town so we know how to find the Kwik Trip

Friday came and there was more pre-trip and brake checks. Then we hit the road. I was the first one up and ended up driving around town for about an hour and a half. I also backed into a parking spot at the Kwik Trip. It was definitely a blast. Really nerve wracking at first but got a little smoother as time went on. It’s going to take a few more miles to coordinate the setup and approach of turns and yields with the downshifting, but I signed up for the manual transmission training for a reason and I’m going to get there. After lunch it was one of my fellow trainee’s turn to take us for a spin. In the afternoon we were able to practice offset backing and 90 alley dock. Although a trainer talked us through the exercises, I think we did pretty good for a couple of noobs. At the hotel I was able to finish all of my computer based training, so I can concentrate on studying to test out.

Saturday we had a half day in the classroom with videos and PowerPoints going over operations and keeping logs etc. And just like that, week one was over and a third of the way through the program.

I had heard, and they stated on the first day of class, that those without experience driving a manual transmission car can have an easier time learning the tractor manual trans. Boy ain't that the truth. Going against the muscle memory of that car rhythm, is taking some time, but I'm getting better each time I get behind the wheel. Also I finally figured out that I've been using way too much of the clutch pedal to shift.

Here's to improving every day.

OTR:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Guy B.'s Comment
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Great start to your new career! Still plenty of manual transmission trucks out there, no restriction could really be helpful as you progress along.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Following along. Envious, I wanted to learn on a stick as well, but we only have autos.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jim W.'s Comment
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So here we are at the end of week two and things are coming together.

For the most part all of the classwork is done and we've been spending all day on the trucks. Pre-trips, coupling practice, brake checks, and backing take up our mornings and road practice takes up our afternoons. The planets aligned this week I had the truck to myself for a whole day. Feeling more confident each day and able to drive around town without any major corrections from the trainer. Passed my mock CDL exam yesterday (without the backing) so yay for me. I have been doing pretty good with the offset back, and we spent some time this afternoon practicing our 90s and that's getting dialed in as well.

We also spent some time with the atlas trying to get from Marshfield to San Antonio.

While I am amazed at how far my skills have progressed in just two weeks, I look forward to building my skills over the next weeks, months, and years.

Don't forget to breathe.

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.
Bianca I.'s Comment
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As someone looking to start with Roehl's Get Your CDL Training, I really appreciate how detailed you are about your experience! It's encouraging to read first-hand accounts. I hope things continue to go well 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.
Jim W.'s Comment
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Well I got through the training and took my test this morning. After the driving portion, when we were back at the terminal , the tester asked how I felt the drive went. Told him I felt like it went like crap because I can do better. He said I shouldn’t beat myself up because I passed. We talked over the couple of issues I had (mainly cleaner shifts and consistent head checks) and he assured me it was nothing a bit of experience won’t cure. For as anxiety ridden as I was about testing, the examiner was great about putting my mind at ease.

So now I’m on the bus back to New Jersey to visit the DMV and wait for the OTR trainer’s call.

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.

OTR:

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations Jim! That's a big step.

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Andrey's Comment
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Congratulations! And good luck with your phase 2!

Jim W.'s Comment
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Back in New Jersey finally. Got me a good night's sleep after a day and a half on the bus. Put my clothes in the wash, organized my paperwork, and headed out to the DMV. Turns out they changed the rules while I was in Wisconsin. Now you need an appointment for everything. So made an appointment for the 20th (first available), and put in a call to my FM. Still waiting for a callback.

The other students from my class are getting on their trainer's trucks towards the end of this week, but they also got home a couple of days ahead of me and I think they were all able to get walk-up appointments at the DMV.

Looking back it was a rough few weeks but I'm glad I went through the standard transmission training. The rumor is that by July the training program will be all automatic transmissions.

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.

Fm:

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.

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