Veriha Rookie Training Dec 2021

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Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Day 4

The temps made it up to the 40s today, so instead of snow and ice we had slush and mud. The backing course was getting well worn by the end of the day.

Today they introduced us to their simulator about mid morning. They used it to show us proper mirror set ups and give us a long clear straight-line backing run. We also got confirmation that the brakes will be much less twitchy when we're loaded. After that it was back to the range for offset backing practice.

I made a hash of the first couple I did, but the last one went clean. I'm not going to claim any style points, but I didn't need any pull-ups. I figure if I can do it once I'll be able to do it again ... eventually.

They say they want to get us started on alley backs tomorrow, and out on the road early next week with some practice tests starting next Wed.

Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Cool, I have apparently been released from moderator purgatory. Yay!

And P.S. to the previous post: I've also updated my avatar to show one of our training trucks, if anyone wants to know what a Veriha truck looks like. From the front there's a big "V" over the cab.

Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Day 5, end of Week 1, CDL test in 2 weeks

The morning was more pretrip and offset backing practice. Pretrip is getting pretty dialed in. I've also started to get a feel for backing around the corner to get in the box on the offset.

After lunch they were going to introduce the alley dock, but instead we went out a little industrial park and got some on road practice. Having the rear tires do their own thing takes some getting used to.

Overall things are going pretty well. Looking forward to week 2.

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.
Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Day 5, end of Week 1, CDL test in 2 weeks

The morning was more pretrip and offset backing practice. Pretrip is getting pretty dialed in. I've also started to get a feel for backing around the corner to get in the box on the offset.

After lunch they were going to introduce the alley dock, but instead we went out a little industrial park and got some on road practice. Having the rear tires do their own thing takes some getting used to.

Overall things are going pretty well. Looking forward to week 2.

I'm happily following!

Looking forward, to ya!

~ Anne ~

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

Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Since I've got a little time on the weekend, I thought I'd give a little overview of Veriha itself and my class specifially.

Veriha seems to be a smaller company, they've got ~200 trucks and a few more drivers than that. I think they're pretty exclusively dry-van and while technically nationwide, seem to mostly stay north of the Ohio valley and east of I-35 with occasional forays into Georgia and Texas based on thier recruiting map. They've got OTR , regional and home daily options, but their highlight fleet is the Entertainment division, where you haul around sets and equipment for rock concerts. It doesn't really appeal to me, I think I'd rather be home more than that.

They seem to take safety pretty seriously. They run dash cams with a driver facing camera and have some sort of safe driving score that they get from that. It hasn't really come up for me yet. They also seem to be on the picky side for new drivers. They us hair testing for pre-employment screening. I think they're on the strict side on background checks and driving records, but I'm not really sure since mine were squeaky clean. They do make you finish all of that before you come to Marinette, so if anything does trip you up you'll know before you've committed to anything.

They also seem to have a pretty comprehensive approach to driver training. Their new driver training isn't just 3 weeks on the range and 4 with a trainer. It takes a full 2 years for them to consider me a "fully trained" driver. I think I'm even going to have some sort of "training supervisor", separate from my dispatcher , until the 2 years are up. I've already got hundreds of online training lessons covering everthing from pretrips, to trip-planning, to using the sat-com, to requesting maintnance, to accessing the company intranet, and I think there's even a couple on diet and exercise.

Training class

The current class is just 4 students. They had scheduled 10, but apparently a couple called off early and then 4 more backed out over Thanksgiving weekend. I didn't even consider it because I'd already given notice and made that Wednesday my last day.

They've had some people out and had to scramble a bit to cover all the bases, but the smaller class has kept that from impacting the schedule too much. It's also kept the range cycling quickly.

I'm not sure I'd recommend doing this in December (or other winter months), but since I've alread been through Navy boot camp, also in December, also on the shore of Lake Michigan, I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. At least I had pretty good idea how to pack for this.

The training has been pretty intense, but thorough. Once we start getting on top of one thing they hand us the next, but it still hasn't felt rushed. They handed us the pretrip checklist and went over it once on Monday and are planning to have mock-tests next Wednesday, but I feel prepared and reasonably confident. They're also going to start being strict on the backing maneuvers, but I feel prepared for that too. I think they're striking a pretty good balance between not just throwing students to the wolves and "we've got places to go, here's the path, devil take the hindmost."

All in all, so far it seems like they've got a pretty good handle on how to run a training program. I am pretty pleased with how this is working out and where it looks like it's going. So far, Veriha seems like a good fit, even if I do still think the trucks are very yellow. Oh well, my 2012 Mazda 3 has helped me embrace the idea, "When I'm driving it, I don't have to look at it."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kandyman's Comment
member avatar

The first time I drove a four wheeler after training w Stevens (prob 4 months in truck only) I actually drove it down a bank on my driveway. It took me about ten minutes not to oversteer. embarrassed.gif I had a little car like a Mazda3.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

Since I've got a little time on the weekend, I thought I'd give a little overview of Veriha itself and my class specifially.

Veriha seems to be a smaller company, they've got ~200 trucks and a few more drivers than that. I think they're pretty exclusively dry-van and while technically nationwide, seem to mostly stay north of the Ohio valley and east of I-35 with occasional forays into Georgia and Texas based on thier recruiting map. They've got OTR , regional and home daily options, but their highlight fleet is the Entertainment division, where you haul around sets and equipment for rock concerts. It doesn't really appeal to me, I think I'd rather be home more than that.

They seem to take safety pretty seriously. They run dash cams with a driver facing camera and have some sort of safe driving score that they get from that. It hasn't really come up for me yet. They also seem to be on the picky side for new drivers. They us hair testing for pre-employment screening. I think they're on the strict side on background checks and driving records, but I'm not really sure since mine were squeaky clean. They do make you finish all of that before you come to Marinette, so if anything does trip you up you'll know before you've committed to anything.

They also seem to have a pretty comprehensive approach to driver training. Their new driver training isn't just 3 weeks on the range and 4 with a trainer. It takes a full 2 years for them to consider me a "fully trained" driver. I think I'm even going to have some sort of "training supervisor", separate from my dispatcher , until the 2 years are up. I've already got hundreds of online training lessons covering everthing from pretrips, to trip-planning, to using the sat-com, to requesting maintnance, to accessing the company intranet, and I think there's even a couple on diet and exercise.

Training class

The current class is just 4 students. They had scheduled 10, but apparently a couple called off early and then 4 more backed out over Thanksgiving weekend. I didn't even consider it because I'd already given notice and made that Wednesday my last day.

They've had some people out and had to scramble a bit to cover all the bases, but the smaller class has kept that from impacting the schedule too much. It's also kept the range cycling quickly.

I'm not sure I'd recommend doing this in December (or other winter months), but since I've alread been through Navy boot camp, also in December, also on the shore of Lake Michigan, I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. At least I had pretty good idea how to pack for this.

The training has been pretty intense, but thorough. Once we start getting on top of one thing they hand us the next, but it still hasn't felt rushed. They handed us the pretrip checklist and went over it once on Monday and are planning to have mock-tests next Wednesday, but I feel prepared and reasonably confident. They're also going to start being strict on the backing maneuvers, but I feel prepared for that too. I think they're striking a pretty good balance between not just throwing students to the wolves and "we've got places to go, here's the path, devil take the hindmost."

All in all, so far it seems like they've got a pretty good handle on how to run a training program. I am pretty pleased with how this is working out and where it looks like it's going. So far, Veriha seems like a good fit, even if I do still think the trucks are very yellow. Oh well, my 2012 Mazda 3 has helped me embrace the idea, "When I'm driving it, I don't have to look at it."

G;

I adore your diary, as will future Veriha prospects. TT needs this, and I thank you, on behalf OF !! :)

Regarding the color of y'all's trucks . . . here's a tidbit: As a former 'Multimedia Major' .. that is GOLDENROD ...............it's not YELLOW, darn ya!

Best always,

~ Anne ~

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

G;

I adore your diary, as will future Veriha prospects. TT needs this, and I thank you, on behalf OF !! :)

Regarding the color of y'all's trucks . . . here's a tidbit: As a former 'Multimedia Major' .. that is GOLDENROD ...............it's not YELLOW, darn ya!

Best always,

~ Anne ~

You are all most certainly welcome. I have found TT to be an invaluable resource so far and figured this was the best way to say, "Thanks," for all the insights and good advice I've found here.

As for color terminology, I'm going to stand on my God given right as the posessor of a Y-chromosome to name all colors using one of the words: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, white, gray. Additional descriptors may be added to get things like "sky blue", "haze gray", "brick red", etc., but anything that doesn't include one of those 10 words is not a real color.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Week 2, Day 1

We had quite a bit of snow come through Sunday, so today wound up being a classroom day while they plowed and reset the range.

Mostly it covered a lot of the basics we had to study for the CLP test. Good driving techniques, how to handle adverse conditions, different trailer/load types, load securement, etc. They've also got an online learning site that has a lot of the same lessons available for review at any time, and apparently a series of YouTube videos called "The Veriha Vault of Knowledge". Even though a lot of this was review from the CLP it was still nice to have a chance to discuss and ask questions of someone who knows what they're talking about.

The biggest thing they stressed today was saftey. Whatever situation you find yourself in err on the side of safety. The best general rules for that are "Eyes up." and "Slow down." If you stay alert to what's going on around, and particularly ahead of you, and keep your speed sensible, you'll be in good shape to handle 99% of what you encounter.

Hoping to finally get to the alley back tomorrow.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Just 'G''s Comment
member avatar

Week 2, Day 2

Another curvball from the weather. Today started out unbearably frigid and warmed up to unconfortably cold (1 F to 17 F if you want numbers). So we wound up staying inside most of the day. In the morning we discussed the specific requirements for the CDL test and did a little more classroom work.

After lunch we went out on the road again, this time with traffic and signs and lights and other complications. That was pretty intense. It's the first time in this whole process I've felt overwhelmed and wondered if I was actually up to this, but I didn't hit anything and we got through it. I do kinda wish I could have had a few runs on a "forwarding range" in addition to the "backing range".

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.
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