Starting TMC Training!!!

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TwoSides11's Comment
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I am officially starting training Monday Oct 4th 2021 for TMC doing flatbed! I will be flying out to Iowa on Sunday. After what seemed like 2 weeks after I graduated CDL school turned into 2 months lol, time really does fly. Finally after months of research I decided to start my career with TMC. Very excited, very nervous, emotions are all over the place.

A little about myself. I'm 38 from the Philadelphia PA area. I owned a landscaping business for 14yrs but had to sell. From the recent Covid virus and previous Trump closing the borders I took a major hit that my company couldn't recover from. No blame on Trump, I actually think that was a good thing but in doing so the bigger corporations that hired undocumented workers now hired the workers that I would have hired. Pay was competitive but I couldn't offer health insurance. That was hit number 1. The stimulus checks and unemployment from the virus had some employees want to stay home and collect checks. Hit #2. So with over 600 customers and depleted staff, I had to jump ship before it actually sunk.

I always had an interest in truck driving and maybe these events happened for a reason. CDL training was fun. Got to meet a lot of friendly people and also talked with some owner operators that gave me good information about the lifestyle. This site was also informative and the drivers on here are awesome with answering questions I had. Can't wait to become part of the trucking family and start this new journey. That's all for now, updates on training coming soon!

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.

Owner Operator:

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Good luck!

You already have a leg up on most folks. I believe people who have been self employed tend to have an easier time at breaking into trucking. You are already accustomed to being paid for accomplishing something as opposed to just putting in your time for something. This career is very much like being self employed. You make decisions on the fly and you learn how to make the best decisions for the best outcome as you gain experience.

Thanks for doing a diary. There will be a lot of people following along and learning from your diary. You may not get a lot of comments, but you will have people following along and soaking it up.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
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Thanks Old School. Yes I am accustomed to putting in hard work to accomplish something. I am a very hard worker, critical thinker and a go getter. The one thing I will not miss about owning a company is doing payroll and bidding on contracts. That sucked lol

Any questions I have about flatbeding I know you and Chief Brody will aid me in the right direction. Thanks again and I will be out there with yall sortly!

TwoSides11's Comment
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Day 1 Oct 4th 2021

Arrived in Iowa yesterday. Decided to do a 5hr flight than a 16hr drive. Got to my room met the roommate who is from Mississippi. Walked around the hotel met other students who are from all different types of places from the Northeast region to the South and Midwest. It's interesting meeting different types of ppl and talking with them. Everyone is friendly and there are company drivers that stay here as well. Got to pick their brains a little on the company and life as a flatbedder. "Is that a word? Flatbedder??"

Woke up at 530am, took a shower ate breakfast: bacon, eggs and toast then waited for the bus to take us to headquarters. Bus shows up at 7 did a temperature check and off we went. Got to headquarters at 745 class started at 8. Met the instructor who is a goofy playful guy with ALOT of jokes. I mean a lot, like every sentence. Keeps us on our toes and alert. I fell into his line of sights when he asked who drove and who flew... then proceeds to joke about me flying to a driving job lol.

Did an introduction on the week ahead and then filled out a lot of paperwork (on a computer) we are being tested on General knowledge, Air brakes and combination. Pretty much the permit test again and have until Thursday to finish. Wont touch a truck until we finish testing. Took a 30min break for lunch which was roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, string beans, biscuit and salad. Yummy! After lunch we went to do a physical and drug test. Majority of us already had our physicals done and I say majority because the class has 30 students, 20 of which have CDL's and the other 10 are going through the company's paid CDL training. Also was informed that this is an interview process for those of us that have a CDL, kind of a surprise to me since the recruiter didn't mention that. This is not an entry level position which the recruiter did say so I guess I should have known? Got back to class and continued working on the test and more jokes from the instructor.

Today was long and boring. 8am-6pm. The first 3hrs felt like I was there for 6. It was also fun and interesting. Now it's time for bed and prepare for tomorrow's events...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TwoSides11's Comment
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Day 2 Oct 5th

Got about 4hrs sleep last night. There was some type of pipes banging all through the night smh. Tired as hell getting up, I was dragging throughout the day.

Got to class and I finished the general knowledge part of the test. Got an 81. Not too happy with that but i passed. Since this is an interview process I wonder if it's enough to get hired. Hope I do better with the air brake and combination section.

Today was intense. We did the endurance test which consisted of lifting an 80lb and 125lb tarp up onto your shoulders and moving it to the back of the trailer. "About 4 steps" We then had to climb up on the trailer with 3 points contact and place the tarp on top of a 6 foot high obstacle, climb up and over to the other side and grab the heavy ass tarp from the top of that obstacle and bring it back to the ground. All with 3 points of contact. We also had to crawl under the trailer look both ways and come out the other side. Also did some calisthenics. Jumping jacks, head shoulder knees and toes type thing. Get down into a push up position and get up like 5 times. This was not the day to be working off of 4hrs of sleep, I am beat!

So they sent a guy home today because the helmet didn't fit his head. I heard in the other class a guy and girl got sent home because their hair was past their shoulders and they said they wouldn't cut it. They will also send you home if you walk on the grass. What wait a minute!!! The instructor warned us about that today and said he forgot to mention that yesterday. If they catch you walking on the grass it's an automatic get sent home card. This company is very very very strict over the dumbest things. Did I make the right choice coming here? Lol.

Well time for early bedtime. Hope I can get better rest tonight

PackRat's Comment
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Attention to details and following instructions are never a dumb thing when you're trying to get hired.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
They will also send you home if you walk on the grass. What wait a minute!!! The instructor warned us about that today and said he forgot to mention that yesterday. If they catch you walking on the grass it's an automatic get sent home card. This company is very very very strict over the dumbest things. Did I make the right choice coming here? Lol.

I understand how those things sound dumb to you. There is a reason behind their madness. Understanding and following directions in trucking is paramount. Even if they seem irrational. Reading and obeying signs is also extremely important. There will be times when you will want to follow your GPS when the signs are telling you something different. Following the signs is the best route to take. They have some signs there about not walking on the grass. They want to see if you are paying attention to the signs. They also have now told you about the rule. They want to make sure you are listening and following directions.

I was at an orientation where our instructor suddenly stopped what he was talking about and left the room. He told us, "i just realized I forgot something I have to go take care of right now. I want each of you to stay here in this room until I get back." He promptly left the room and was gone for a good fifteen minutes. A couple of the guys in the room decided to go outside for a smoke break. He returned eventually, but the two smokers didn't return the next day. They got sent home for not following his directions. It's all a test. It's part of your interview. They are watching everyone to see how they respond to directives. Later on this will make sense to you. When your dispatcher tells you something crazy to do you will realize that it is best to follow his directives than to question everything because you think it sounds dumb. He has a bigger picture than you get to see. Trust him and all will be well. Eventually he will trust you just as much.

Don't You Dare Miss That Sign!

Dispatcher:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
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Attention to details and following instructions are never a dumb thing when you're trying to get hired.

100% right!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar
I understand how those things sound dumb to you. There is a reason behind their madness. Understanding and following directions in trucking is paramount. Even if they seem irrational.

Following the signs is the best route to take. They have some signs there about not walking on the grass. They want to see if you are paying attention to the signs. They also have now told you about the rule. They want to make sure you are listening and following directions.

I totally understand. In my sleep deprived state yesterday it seemed a little silly but the way you explain it I 100% agree and get it. Even though there aren't any signs stating to stay off the grass they are testing us to see if we can follow directions

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TwoSides11's Comment
member avatar

Day 3 Oct 6th

The morning was the same as the past 2 days. Came in, did roll call and worked on the tests. I got a 95 on the air brake section, very satisfied with that. I have 5 more questions to do on the combination test and so far no wrong answers. I'm guessing tomorrow will be evaluation day to see who will be able to get in a truck. I hope that low score on the general knowledge doesn't affect me too much.

After lunch we lifted more tarps and watched a video of load securement and safety. The focus was on proper securement of the load. The instructor had no jokes today. It was a serious class. He stressed about the dangers of this job. How easily it is to die or kill someone if your load isn't properly secured and how important it is to be aware and double check your straps. Almost half of the class got to mess around with the straps and using chains but my group ran out of time. Flatbed trucking is no joke. I knew there were dangers to the job but today just gave me a whole new perspective and respect for it. The second half of class was more of a scared straight session.

Got back to the hotel and had dinner with 2 of the company drivers. I would have paid for their dinner but they get it for free. The hotel is owned by TMC and it's a mini truck stop in the back. They told me what to expect from this job, how strict they are and the benefits the company offers them. No one had anything negative to say about the company, they treat the drivers very well.

Tomorrow I will finish the combination test and hopefully get a chance to use the straps and chains. The pace is picking up and so far am enjoying this experience

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