CFI Training Through Trainco Trucking School

Topic 30125 | Page 8

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Nathan S.'s Comment
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That would be awesome! Drive safe sir!!

I will be there on 6-2-21. Hope I get to meet you.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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START OF ORIENTATION DIARY

Orientation Eve.... Welcome back everybody to the next segment of my training diary. Hard to believe that I'm already through trucking school. My day started at 1:00 am as I knew full drive time would be over 12 hours if I didn't stop and everything went perfectly. LOL Since that was NEVER going to happen, I allowed myself a few extra hours on the clock to be here between 3-4 pm. Roughly 850 miles later and waaaaay too many potty breaks I have arrived in Joplin, MO roughly around 3:15 PM.

The hotel is pretty nice, it's a LaQuinta (massive place). The CFI shuttle is due to arrive tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM.

Tonight I plan on just relaxing and sleeping. I'm doing my best to calm my thoughts down. As per usual, I'm a bucket of nerves. Seems like whenever I have to do something new, in a new place, meeting people I don't know, everything gets me a bit rattled. I always warm up quickly to people and make friends pretty easily but it's the initial unknown that gives me anxiety?!

Orientation is set to last Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm assuming at this point that the finisher trainer will pick me up on Thursday but I have no confirmation of this (just an assumption)

I'll make sure to post a full update tomorrow evening.

Have a great night and stay safe everyone.

I'm right here waiting, AS WELL !!!! KUDOS, you!!!!!!!

~ Anne ~

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Yaaay I’m glad to have you following along Anne!!

double-quotes-start.png

START OF ORIENTATION DIARY

Orientation Eve.... Welcome back everybody to the next segment of my training diary. Hard to believe that I'm already through trucking school. My day started at 1:00 am as I knew full drive time would be over 12 hours if I didn't stop and everything went perfectly. LOL Since that was NEVER going to happen, I allowed myself a few extra hours on the clock to be here between 3-4 pm. Roughly 850 miles later and waaaaay too many potty breaks I have arrived in Joplin, MO roughly around 3:15 PM.

The hotel is pretty nice, it's a LaQuinta (massive place). The CFI shuttle is due to arrive tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM.

Tonight I plan on just relaxing and sleeping. I'm doing my best to calm my thoughts down. As per usual, I'm a bucket of nerves. Seems like whenever I have to do something new, in a new place, meeting people I don't know, everything gets me a bit rattled. I always warm up quickly to people and make friends pretty easily but it's the initial unknown that gives me anxiety?!

Orientation is set to last Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm assuming at this point that the finisher trainer will pick me up on Thursday but I have no confirmation of this (just an assumption)

I'll make sure to post a full update tomorrow evening.

Have a great night and stay safe everyone.

double-quotes-end.png

I'm right here waiting, AS WELL !!!! KUDOS, you!!!!!!!

~ Anne ~

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Nathan, In my profile is my email. Shoot me an email and I'll send you my number. Don't know how quickly you will leave out. We will be pulling into Joplin sometime tomorrow morning.

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

Or, Shannon should send you an email with information on your finisher. You can ask her for my number. Scott, truck #52738

Chris E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Nathan, hope all is well! When and from whom did you receive info regarding orientation dates as well as travel arrangements to Joplin? I’m just starting my second week, test out on 6/10, and it’s been smooth sailing so far. Just starting to wonder how it goes from here.

I really appreciate your diary here, it’s really helped me manage expectations of what’s to come! Thanks!

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, So happy to have you following along. Since you are out of Michigan (like me) your CDL won't be available through SOS for 5-7 days after you pass your exam. So I called my recruiter on class day 11 to inform her that I wasn't going to have my physical CDL. They were aware that it takes time and will probably recommend your trip to Joplin carry on as normal.

They will ask you to call them after you pass your CDL exam. Over the next 72 hours, MUCH will happen between CFI and yourself. Many emails, phone calls, and arrangements will be made for your arrival for Orientation (the next Monday after you test out) Just reach out to your recruiter to give him/her any updates you have and to touch base.

Good luck, I know you'll do awesome!!

Hey Nathan, hope all is well! When and from whom did you receive info regarding orientation dates as well as travel arrangements to Joplin? I’m just starting my second week, test out on 6/10, and it’s been smooth sailing so far. Just starting to wonder how it goes from here.

I really appreciate your diary here, it’s really helped me manage expectations of what’s to come! Thanks!

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

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

They said we will get info on our finisher tomorrow afternoon. Really excited for the next step in this process. Obviously, lots of important info at orientation but I already miss being in a truck every day!

Or, Shannon should send you an email with information on your finisher. You can ask her for my number. Scott, truck #52738

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 1 Orientation

Just like the email said, the CFI big white bus, showed up at the hotel around 6:15 AM for our 6:30 AM departure. The driver performed roll call right there in the breakfast lounge haha. Many people missing but a good 12-14 of us were there. Most of them still had their rental cars, since Monday was a holiday and the rental places were closed. We were advised to drive ourselves to CFI and later in the day, we'd handle the return of them.

We walked into the orientation room/meeting room, which was bigger and nicer than what I expected. Very warm, professional feel. Even more impressive was the setup at each seat. Waiting for us was a name badge and lanyard, key card for access to the building, a packet of paperwork, lunch order form, hand sanitizer, earbuds, and our own personal laptops for hours and hours of video training that awaited us. It was all laid out so neat and tidy and something about seeing your name on that desk just hit me in my feels. Really cool welcome if you ask me!

So you start with the massive packet of paperwork. Took roughly an hour to get through all the paperwork. Lots of signatures, lots of directions flying at you. Pretty standard stuff tho, nothing crazy. After they get your paperwork, one of the guys (two instructors) will input info into the system which allows them to create a personal log-in for the training program. The whole first day is basically watching various training videos and taking the corresponding quiz. It's a forced pass test situation, but if you don't pay attention and fail the test, you literally have to watch the whole video again to proceed to the quiz. Despite having a few redo's I finished first and was able to leave around 3:00 PM today.

Lunch was domino's and the menu items were really good. I could have ordered myself a whole. medium pizza with 2 toppings. Sadly, I'm trying to lose some weight and eat better so I opted for a salad and water.

The coolest part of the day, aside from the welcome presentation of sway, was the president of CFI. He actually came down and did a small/short presentation for us and took the time to answer any questions that we had. CFI is a large and growing company, and to have the actual president of the company make time to meet the drivers really says a TON about CFI as a company!!

Tomorrow will be all lecture-style class format. Which I like much more than aged poorly produced training video's lol.

Have a great night everybody and be safe!!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nathan S.'s Comment
member avatar

Day 2 Orientation

I planned this morning to take notes about everything that happened today so I could be as specific as possible but...I didn't and I'm 40 so, I'll do my best to remember everything!! LOL

The shuttle arrived at the hotel around 6:20 AM. One thing to remember for those students following along with this diary, DO NOT BE LATE for class!! They will ride you pretty hard about that. I do not speak from experience because I PROUDLY arrive everywhere early but there have been quite a few late people in the first two days and it wasn't pretty. They say there are only two things a carrier can sell to a customer and they are our safety record and our on-time record. SO being on time is very important around here, even on breaks!

We arrived at the orientation room and had another few hand-outs and booklets. Our lunch menu was the same as yesterday, Domino's. Which wasn't a problem as there are quite a few different options to mix it up.

Lectures happened pretty much all day. We watched a heart-wrenching human trafficking video again. (happens to be the same one I watch a few weeks ago at trucking school.) This one was edited down, which I was thankful for because at 8:00 AM in the morning my emotions were not happy with the content, and all I kept thinking about was my daughter. We then jumped into a video for 8 seconds. It's is a short documentary on a young man who looked at his phone for 8 seconds and drove 63 mph directly into the back of a man's car that was stopped at a red light somewhere in Minnesota a few years ago. He killed the man driving and the video interviewed the truck driver from prison, the man's daughter, and his wife. Between the two videos, I wish I could say I didn't have tears running down my cheeks but I would be lying. It was a rough morning but driving an 80,000 lb truck is very serious business and they know what to show to get the point across!

After that, we moved onto CFI "straight 8" safety initiatives, for lack of a better word. They take safety as priority number one and even say load delivery being on time comes second to safety. We learned about safety while driving and safety while working. There are two quizzes that must be passed after these two lectures. I missed one question and had to re-take that section again but still finished it pretty easily. I'm not trying to brag, trust me, but I take safety extremely seriously and really have taken the danger of driving a semi to heart!!

After these videos and lectures, we went out to the driver's parking lot, and there awaited a tractor and trailer for us. We had to perform a few physical ability tests. They watched us open the trailer doors properly, release the tandems , release the fifth wheel, climb in and out of the trailer, and the tractor. The only thing here that was slightly difficult was getting into and out of the trailer. I have bad knees and had to kneel on them but was able to complete this with little difficulty.

After lunch, we had a coupling and uncoupling video, a short presentation on maintenance and fueling. Then a person from the training department came over and talked with the students in the room about the student training program. Roughly 8 of us are in that group. We went over the rules, expectations, and guidelines for being with our finisher trainers. Attached to the file folder we received were our assigned trainer's phone number, truck number, and name. Mine is due to Joplin on Friday. I called him this evening and left a message, so I don't know exactly when or where the rendezvous point will be yet.

We sign in the morning, which means we will become sort of employed by CFI tomorrow? I guess it's not really official until we upgrade and become solo drivers, but it's the first step to becoming official.

I'm really excited about getting to meet my trainer and hitting the road. I know the 21 days on his truck will go by super fast and there is so much to learn. I just want to be safe, learn as much as humanly possible, and become a sponge to learn all I can from him.

Have a great night and be safe!!

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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