CFI Training Through Trainco Trucking School

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Nathan S.'s Comment
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Day 10 End of week 2

Holy cow, I'm down to 2 class days left. SMH The nerves are trying to creep back up on me but I'm persistently fighting the urge to "freak out". LOL The CDL basic maneuver test (skills test) is right next to where we practice pre-trip and kind of the "hang out" area during breaks/lunch. So throughout the day, we can clearly watch students "testing out" and performing their skills test. It's extremely daunting knowing that everyone is watching you as you perform. It's even worse when that student gets in their own head and bombs the test. Which happens almost every day at least once. I know and fully understand that just cause someone else fails that portion of the test, has NO bearing on my ability to pass the test. I just had no idea how hard it seems to be to pass all three portions on the first go-round.

Today was another successful day all around. Driving was fun, really neat to drive around small-town Ohio, and through all the rural areas. I'm born and raised literally miles north of Detroit, MI, and farms and country life wasn't something I ever saw. Ohio is low-key pretty! Driving state routes for hours this week has been fun, challenging, and a great entry-level experience to life on the road. Literally, every single day for each of us, we experienced all kinds of hazards, lane closures, 4 wheeler stupidity, being cut off, etc. Enough to see and realize that what we all do each and every day is SO important to stay alert, avoid distractions and keep others around us safe, even when THEY cause the potentially dangerous situation.

My eyes have really been opened to the reality of what a trucker goes through each and every day. AND I'M NOT EVEN A "REAL" TRUCKER YET!!! I wish states did more focused public service announcements or even a class before getting your license to help the general public see and understand what a truck could do to them.

Anyway, I'm rambling and so so tired....so have a great night everybody, and stay safe!!!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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When you test out, DO NOT think about anybody watching you. Be in your own head though, thinking one step ahead. Think but don't overthink it.

After you've been driving a few years, then you can relish having others watch you do the really tough backs, or screwing up the easy one some days at the truck stop. Both will happen.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Like Pack Rat said stay in your own head. It's similar to me finding a spot later than I planned. Trucker Path says some spots. Well all I need is one. That's my thought. Keep positive thoughts in your head. So many people have come before you and passed. You get 3 tries on each portion. Piece of cake.

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

When you test out, DO NOT think about anybody watching you. Be in your own head though, thinking one step ahead. Think but don't overthink it.

After you've been driving a few years, then you can relish having others watch you do the really tough backs, or screwing up the easy one some days at the truck stop. Both will happen.

Like Pack Rat said stay in your own head. It's similar to me finding a spot later than I planned. Trucker Path says some spots. Well all I need is one. That's my thought. Keep positive thoughts in your head. So many people have come before you and passed. You get 3 tries on each portion. Piece of cake.

Thanks, Packrat and BigScott!! I promise I'm trying very hard on staying positive mentally. I haven't practiced this much in my life. However, it's something I try to do each day. I have made a friend down here and he is right there all day long telling me to shut up or get out of my head if something comes out negative or doubtful. Having someone walk through this with me is more valuable than I ever would have imagined. I'm so grateful for all the support and we are going to get this done boys!!!!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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I'm still with ya too, hun! You GOT this.

~ Anne ~

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

Nathan S.'s Comment
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I could never forget you Anne!! Glad to have you on Team Nate!! Hehe seriously tho thank you!! Means so much

I'm still with ya too, hun! You GOT this.

~ Anne ~

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

Chris E.'s Comment
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Hey Nathan, it's been great reading through your progress the last couple weeks. I'm sure you'll do great testing out, good luck!

I'll be starting my training at Trainco in Ohio for CFI on Monday!

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Chris!! Welcome to the CFI family!! I’ll be there Monday and Tuesday in class as well. So if you think of it, don’t be a stranger and say hi! Trainco has quite a few great instructors. Soak up the info they provide. Take what you can from each of them cause you will hear different things but it all works together. I’m always available for questions or support if you need someone to talk too.

Thanks for following along on the thread!

Hey Nathan, it's been great reading through your progress the last couple weeks. I'm sure you'll do great testing out, good luck!

I'll be starting my training at Trainco in Ohio for CFI on Monday!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Hey Nathan, it's been great reading through your progress the last couple weeks. I'm sure you'll do great testing out, good luck!

I'll be starting my training at Trainco in Ohio for CFI on Monday!

Chris, Welcome to the CFO family. We are all happy to help.

Nathan, Looking forward to giving you some bananas.

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 11 Start of the final week

Man does time fly! It literally feels like yesterday when I checked into my hotel room and pondered what lay before me in the coming days and weeks. Here I am, 12 hours away from walking through the doors for my last day of schooling. It's really bittersweet actually. I'm SOOO ready to be done with the training school. I just want to head to Joplin, and get started with CFI. ON the other hand, I've met some really really great guys and I'm gonna miss seeing them. LOL I know it's not super trucker-like to be all in my feels but...I'm kinda built that way.

Today, they threw us a curveball. Instead of heading out on the road, we started on the range/pad for backing practice. I decided that it would be a good idea to start at the beginning and do all the maneuvers that I've learned. So I did a straight-line back. No issue. Followed it up with roughly 5 offset back reverse lane-change maneuvers. Two or three to the right and the same on the left. Not as smooth as I would have liked but I literally haven't done this maneuver since day two of class, 15 days ago. The great thing about today is, I was able to correct and get the trailer into the lane without blowing the whole maneuver. So in short, I have been able to take all I've learned and successfully apply it to fix poor set-ups.

I then moved to my old nemesis the parallel parking maneuver. Started with the box to the driver's side and it was a rocky start. However, after a few attempts, I got it in the box. Very shallow finishing park job, but passing, nonetheless. Did both sides (left and right box) a few times and moved over to the alley dock maneuver. The particular tractor they had in the alley dock spot had these flared out fairing just behind the doors and the mirrors even fully pushed out, did not allow me to see the rear of the trailer. I couldn't even see the rear of the trailer looking out the window. I told them if I were to win the lottery, I'd come back and burn that tractor to the ground and purchase the school a new one!! (extremely frustrating experience) So yes, I got the maneuver done three times but took many pull-ups and even a couple of cones paid the price.

I'm ok with struggling when it's caused by me. I'm ok, knowing I'm new and can't nail every single maneuver with ease. However, I have NO patience for crappy, poorly maintained, and old outdated equipment. That is my number one complaint about this school. The range/pad trucks are absolute garbage. It made everything SO much harder than it needed to be to perform the maneuvers.

I digress....

We did get out on the road today and I almost died at the hands of an amazon prime semi-truck. I was driving down north I-75 in early rush hour traffic. (around 3:30pm) I just merged onto 75 from I think 475? I was working my way over to the right, as the interchange comes in from the left side of the highway. A very nice 4 wheeler let me get over into the right lane as my exit was coming up within a mile or so. Up ahead I noticed a semi on the shoulder with 4 way flasher on. I looked to my driverside mirror there was no way I could get over. This amazon prime truck started rolling down the shoulder and started to merge into my lane roughly 500 feet ahead of me while I was slowing down from 60 mph. He had all his driver's side wheels over the white line when I started to pass him, now I'm pushed into the middle lane with cars on my side. Still braking, now harder than I was before, I desperately was riding between a semi and 4 wheelers who were freaking out about my abrupt lane departure.

I know I probably should have slowed down sooner. I was distracted in my attempt to merge into the right lane and probably noticed the semi later than I should have. I also probably should have blown my horn at the amazon truck in case he didn't see me?? (doubt that was the case) Anyway, no damage done, but much learned about NEVER allowing yourself to become so singularly focused on ONE task on the road that you neglect the ever-constant need to be proactive, and alert to everything else going on around you!!

Ended the day with more pre-trip and in-cab inspection w/ mandatory brake inspection. This I can do, and actually do, in my sleep now. Every night before bed I rehearse the full pre-trip in its entirety before falling asleep.

One last day boys and ladies...then testing on Wednesday. My nerves will probably be the main topic of my post tomorrow night.

Stay safe and have a great night!!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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