My Trucking Journey From The Beginning

Topic 30819 | Page 1

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Bora K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Everyone,

I am from Turkey and I came to the USA 4 years ago. I have 15+ years of retail experience and I was working as an Assistant Manager in one of the big retailers in here. I realized that I don't want to do that anymore and I decided to leave everything behind and start from the beginning. I went to the closest truck driving school, registered at the same day. Next day I went to the DMV and took my CDL tests and passed all of them in first try. I went back to the driving school and set a date for starting. I quit my job at the same day and in 2-3 days I already left everything behind and ready to do something I have no experience.

I started to the course on August 30th. First day was easier because I already had the permit. It was just some trainings online and registration to the system. Second day I was outside learning about the PTI and the instructor popped up the hood and opened it and he told that we need to know everything about the truck. When I saw all the things under the hood and the list that they gave us for PTI, I said what the hell I am doing here!... I was shocked and overwhelmed about the information that I need to understand in short time. But I went there because I didn't want to work in retail anymore. I overcame my fear and exhaustion and tried to take notes about everything I can. I struggled couple days but everyone was struggling so seeing that everyone were trying their best motivated me. I started to understand and grasp the all information. I started to go over PTI with my class and then I started to teach some of the people what I learned. All the communication, help and friendliness helped me to achieve really good knowledge about the PTI. The best thing about it I wasn't memorizing it, I actually learned which part is where, which part does what. I passed my eval with 99. I said hub seal instead of axel seal but for 4-5 day that was really good achievement for me.

Then next day it comes for the skills training. Straight back up, Offset and 90 degrees. I was finally in the truck and going to drive. I was so excited but again I had the same feeling when I was trying to backing up, What the hell I am doing here?. This time it passed fast because even if it seems easy to back up straight. Actually managing to do it by myself gave me confidence boost. That afternoon I already passed to the offset back up. I was rocking and rolling. I was so happy to manage to do offset back up in my first try. I realized that if I listen my instructors and follow their leads, there was no reason to worry about anything. I understood that following instructions and being humble is a key in this profession. Next day I was already in 90 degree back up and again I have managed to do it at first try. I was so happy about my achievements!!!

Finally the day comes for the outside driving! After I passed all evaluations from the skills, I was ready to go out to drive. Yes we did a lot of skill trainings but that was totally different ball game. This time I actually need to go drive in actual traffic!... It was really scary at the first time. My instructor was little jumpy and I really don't like to be around jumpy people when I am driving. I got all stressed out because I wasn't able to manage to do my right turns!... I was perfectly turning to the left but I wasn't able to turn right properly!!! When I got back home I was so sad. I was repeating in my mind over and over but I couldn't find any solution to better my right turning skills. I even saw nightmare about turning right!!! Next day I didn't want to go to school because I knew that I was going to drive again! But I went to the school anyway. I was going to try to give my 100%. This time instructor was different. He was so calm, so informative and most importantly he was not jumpy!!! The tips and tricks he gave me saved me that day. I was doing perfect turns thanks to him!! I felt great, thanked him over and over. I was finally happy and proud that I was able to manage to overcome the problems that I had.

So today (09/22) was the big day!!! After weeks, there was the final exam for my training. I was going to see if was I manipulating myself that I was doing good or was I really good? First step was PTI and I crashed it. I took my time, tried to explain and point everything and tried to really show myself and the examiner that I didn't memorize, I really know all the things! I passed the PTI!!! Next there were skill tests. Straight back was pretty easy so I passed that without any hiccups. Offset was easy too, I just used 1 GOAL. Here comes the 90! Because sun was hitting my mirror and I wasn't able to see anything, I set up too close so I needed to use my 1 pull up and 1 goal from the beginning! That was not good for me because I only have 1 more GOAL and 1 more free pull up!!!. Thanks to that pull up and GOAL, I was in really good position and I got in the box without any problem. I used my other free pull up for making the last position pretty and I was in the box!! I passed all of my skill tests too!!

After everything, there was big event! My road test. I started pretty good, I commentate everything that I saw, I checked my mirrors and traffic all the time. I followed all the rules. I passed that too! Finally I achieved everything I wanted so far! My average point is 95/100 so I am pretty happy about everything! I am going to start my training at Werner on September 28th and I would share my experience along the way!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Bora!!

Keep up the good work. I must say, your English is perfectly understandable! Keep us informed on how you are doing. Learn all you can from Werner....just do NOT get into being a Lease Operator!

Laura

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

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Bora K.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Bora!!

Keep up the good work. I must say, your English is perfectly understandable! Keep us informed on how you are doing. Learn all you can from Werner....just do NOT get into being a Lease Operator!

Laura

Thank you so much Laura. I am going to share my journey as much as I can. Thank you for the recommendation. I don't want to be owner operator unless I learn everything about the system. After 2-3 years I may consider to being owner operator.

Best Regards

Bora

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Bora K.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

Thank you so much :)

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

You’ll be tested everyday, in many different ways. But it sounds like you’re off to a good start, with a great attitude. And THAT will make a difference.

Congrats again and l hope your journey is all you want it to be.

Bora K.'s Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

You’ll be tested everyday, in many different ways. But it sounds like you’re off to a good start, with a great attitude. And THAT will make a difference.

Congrats again and l hope your journey is all you want it to be.

Thank you so much! I think I am ready whatever this brings to me but I know it won't be easy. I hope I would manage to be successful like you mentioned :)

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Bora, you have my respect. If everything you said is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, you may be one of those rare individuals who have a knack for driving. I would add to the advice not to get sucked into a lease by adding this: Don't even consider becoming an owner operator at 3 or 4 years. Wait a lot longer, like 10 years. By then you will know enough to make an intelligent decision. So many drivers become owner operators and fail with crushing debts.

Looking forward to your continuing reports of you progress. Best wishes for your success!

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bora K.'s Comment
member avatar

Bora, you have my respect. If everything you said is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, you may be one of those rare individuals who have a knack for driving. I would add to the advice not to get sucked into a lease by adding this: Don't even consider becoming an owner operator at 3 or 4 years. Wait a lot longer, like 10 years. By then you will know enough to make an intelligent decision. So many drivers become owner operators and fail with crushing debts.

Looking forward to your continuing reports of you progress. Best wishes for your success!

Bruce,

Thank you so much your kind message. Like you mentioned, I really need long time for grasp enough knowledge about trucking. Actually I need to learn a lot about the country too :) I will try to share my journey along the way.

Best Regards

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Trucking is like life in general, a roller coaster ride. There are incredible lows and incredible highs. The trick is to average those two extremes into a realistic and stable outlook on life. Stay the course and you will have success.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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