CFI Training Through Trainco Trucking School

Topic 30125 | Page 3

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Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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I should be there on the 3rd for this student to upgrade. I will try to remember to have Shannon give you my number. You can ask her also. Scott truck 52738. I will be going home after this student, so I won't be able to train you. Hopefully we can at least meet. Good luck with school.

Nathan S.'s Comment
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Dang... the starts almost aligned to have you as a trainer/finisher. However, I'm sure there are many fine trainer/finishers at CFI. I'm so excited man to be joining CFI I keep talking about it with everyone I talk with. Have a safe trip back to Joplin, and enjoy your hometime brother!

I should be there on the 3rd for this student to upgrade. I will try to remember to have Shannon give you my number. You can ask her also. Scott truck 52738. I will be going home after this student, so I won't be able to train you. Hopefully we can at least meet. Good luck with school.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Hopefully we will meet. My email is in my profile. I'm going to put a word in for you.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Just sent an email on your behalf. Now, do great in school and get that CDL.

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.
Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Man, I can't thank you enough for that! I really truly appreciate it BigScott!! I will not take this jester lightly and I will make sure I continue to push myself, work hard, and trifecta this CDL exam!!

Nate

Just sent an email on your behalf. Now, do great in school and get that CDL.

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.
Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Start of week 2 Day 6

Another beautiful day here in northern Ohio. The temperatures are moving up for sure! haha Last week we finished our in-class training and basically started a new daily pattern of training exercises. My group starts at 7:00 am and typically by 7:30-7:45 am find ourselves loaded up in a truck and headed out on the road for roughly 4-5 hours of driving split between 3 of us. Today started a little rough as I forgot my binder in my backpack at school. That binder has my driver's paper permit in it. SMH DOH

We did make it back to the school around 10:45 am so I could grab my paperwork and legally drive my allotted time. Almost everything went smoothly on my drive. I had a new instructor today and he was an older gentleman that liked to talk more than give instructions. Not a bad guy by any means but instructions didn't always come soon enough for a smooth transition from turn to turn. I didn't stop behind the stop bar once because of this. That was my bad because I was more focused on the tight turn than I was at where I was in relation to that line on the road. (once again, my fault completely, not blaming him for this)

I had a light turn on me to yellow in that in-between timing that I had to make a judgment call and I made the wrong call. The light was clearly red as I passed underneath it. The last hiccup of the ride came when I was in a small quaint downtown area turning from a 2 lane to another 2 lanes with cars parked on the side of the street. I made the widest, squarest turn I possibly could, cut in front of the car that was turning left almost perfectly. However, my right rear trailer tire clipped ever so slightly a plastic reflector that put in the road at the apex of the turn and knocked it down. The instructor informed me that it was a "highway route" and "blank the reflector" Which was very kind of him but I felt really bad as I haven't touched a curb yet and now I knocked down a reflector sign.

The rest of the day went just as normal as can be. After lunch, more range/pad time caused me stress and frustration as I can't figure out the parallel backing maneuver. I spoke with one of the instructors and he gave me a quick lesson on a whiteboard and showed me visually what I'm doing wrong. So tomorrow I can't wait to see if I can put his instruction into practice. There is just one other student stuck on this with me. The other 4 have moved onto the 90 degree alley dock maneuver. So I don't want to get left in the dust.

We finished up the day practicing the in-cab inspection, mandatory brake insp, and full pre-trip from tractor to trailer. This was the first time so far that I went from start to finish of the whole first part of the test. I was told by another student that I got roughly a 78-80 depending on how it would have actually been scored! That's not bad for a rookie lol I have 6 more days to tighten this up and try to get closer to that perfect 90. (Ohio is a 90 point insp)

So that pretty much concludes day 6. I'm really enjoying the experience overall. I know I'm having some struggles but you can't learn if you don't make mistakes and I have to just take what I'm being taught and put it into practice. 6 more days to go and I'll be a CDL holder : )

Have a great night everybody!!

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Great, detailed updates Nathan. You're doing great.

I'm getting excited following along!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nathan S.'s Comment
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Thanks so much, Packrat!! I'm happy my posts are keeping you intrigued and excited to follow along.

Great, detailed updates Nathan. You're doing great.

I'm getting excited following along!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Keep up the great work. Once on your own you will do at least one full pre trip every day.

Stop signs at tight turns give you an opportunity to stop and look at it. In real life you can put your flashers on, stop and look.

Just remember when turning to watch your trailer and tandems as you turn. Once your tandems pass the obstacle the rest of the trailer will.

You got this.

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".

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 7 If you are thinking about getting your CDL and your reading this, or maybe you already have committed to going to a company-sponsored training program. Let me be the first to tell you that this experience will test you mentally and physically! Be prepared, be committed to starting this endeavor. It WILL NOT BE EASY and it WILL challenge you more than you probably think. This is not to say it isn't worth it, but don't show up to class thinking it'll be a breeze.

With that said...lol I LOVE driving a semi-truck. It is so incredibly exciting and different from anything I've ever done before. I KNOW I want this!! However, I simply am hitting a roadblock with my backing maneuvers. It's crazy that it so challenging for some (like myself) and for others, it's a one-shot maneuver over and over again. I've read other people's threads on trouble backing and never could understand how they seemed to get so frustrated over it. Let me be the first to say..I GET IT NOW! haha

The Good: I drove today for about 90 mins and the highlights of my trip was getting to drive on I-75 through the never-ending construction zone heading into Toledo where I-75 north flips back and forth from Northbound to Southbound about 3-4 times. This is (for a new driver) an extremely challenging roadway since the highway is constantly weaving through barriers and trucks and cars are whizzing by you faster than they should be going (IMO) and the uneven pavement makes holding your lane challenging. I didn't go too fast but held close to 50 mph. (speed limit is 55 through here) We then proceeded to 280 south which takes you through more construction over this bridge that is moderately high above the Maumee River. As someone who DOES NOT like heights, I just focused on the road and ignored the heights that spaned out before me! Everything went smoothly today on the road and is quickly becoming what makes me happy each day.

The Bad: Still stuck on parallel parking. The lack of support I'm receiving at the moment is frustrating me. I don't want to call out the school or throw anyone under the bus but I'm fairly unimpressed with the support staff at this place. You can sit in a truck on the range/pad for hours failing maneuver after maneuver and NO ONE will approach you or even check on you to see if you need assistance. Now I'm fully aware that I'm a grown-ass man and have the ability to walk over to the "shack' where the instructors sit and "hang out" and ask for help. (and I have) but I feel like, for the price tag this place costs, there should be more involvement from the staff with students on the range. For 2 hours today, I pulled forward and back and forward and back and only successfully completed 3 parallel backing maneuvers. YES, that is good that I did have minor success and it's comforting to know that I CAN perform the maneuver but it seems more often than not, I get stuck and can't figure out how to tweak the trailer to correct the problems with my backing.

The Disclaimer: Anything worth doing is going to take time, effort, and even may have its ups and downs. I'm GOING to nail this test and I'm GOING to succeed!! I'm in no way shape or form trying to complain, pass the buck and say it's the school's fault that I'm struggling. Naw, it's on me and I'm going to rise to the occasion. But this is a training diary, and it's my record day to day of how I feel, what's going on in my head. This is something I'm going to look back on and laugh at when I'm months, years into a trucking career and see how silly I was in the midst of something that isn't that big of a deal after it's all said and done.

The Conclusion: Today was productive. I drove some challenging roads, had a little success on the range, and nailed the pre-trip. We timed each other doing the full truck (outside only) and I only missed 3 things and took roughly 13 mins to complete. Leaving me 17 mins to do in-cab, mandatory brake insp, and light insp. Wednesday is upon us and that marks the ONE WEEK mark till test day. I'm both excited and nervous. I've always been a nervous guy...and I always end up trying to figure out why I stressed so much over something that ended up not being that big of a deal!

Have a great night and talk to you all tomorrow!

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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