Witte Brothers Inc Cdl Training

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Kevin L.'s Comment
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My journey started the 6th of may received my welcome letter to Witte trucking school. Called up my family told them the good news I was offered a place to stay with my uncle until I needed to head to Missouri. He lives in Fort Worth and I work for Uber Lyft and doordash so I was on board quick. Got everything packed up and hit the road may 8th arrived in Fort Worth the 9th stayed there working and saving up as much money as possible until the 13th. The 14th I headed up to Kansas where my aunt lives. Had a good visit with here until the next morning from there I drove to Troy Missouri. I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly the people are in this state. Called my recruiter when I arrived and got set up with my room key and access cards. Dorm is located on the top floor of the corporate headquarters building it is for driver/students has a big bathroom with four individual shower stalls. I want to say 12 individual rooms each with a bunk bed and a dedicated single bed. Extremely nice two couches in the common area with an Xbox one, controller and dvd and vcr player. Two tvs. I arrived on a Sunday met a few drivers had a nice chat about what to expect with training. Apparently weekends are driver game night when doing the 34? 32? hour reset. I felt very welcomed to be honest. Got everything packed away and turned in for the night was extremely nervous for my first day.

—- First day may 17th Set my alarm for 6:30 class starts at 7:30am figured I should start out with good habits and get up early. Quick tip:if you live in a dorm style setup take your showers the night before it really helps when you are not waiting for a shower to open up in the mornings. Class started with an introduction to what we will be learning throughout the 5 week course. And signing all the paperwork. Once that was complete we were handed our fmcsa rule book or as they said “the trucker bible” we were also cycled through to get our drug tests. Once all that was finished we headed to the “training yard” to start a real world pretrip we did that for the rest of the day.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

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.
George B.'s Comment
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Nice! Have fun. Keep us posted. Trust me, a lot of us will be reading. Especially since we do not see much on here about Witte Bros!

Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
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Kevin,

That sounds AWESOME! (Yep, it'd be a 34 hour reset, btw..)

What little I've heard & known about them (along w/ my other half,) they're an awesome group of people. I've seen a video somewhere, about their dorm style set up. I like it!

Really happy for ya, man! Ask away, any of us anytime, if any questions come up. I'm so glad you are keeping this diary for us, too!! Yeah, just like George said above; we don't hear of this company NEAR enough!

Best going forward!

~ Anne ~

Kevin L.'s Comment
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Day 2- Started on the yard went through a real world pretrip for about three hours including the in cab portion. Right now it’s only the engine,in cab, coupling sections. We were told there will be another five page packet each week for the next two weeks for us to learn but for now those are the only sections we are memorizing they have us reading from the paper out lout while pointing with a stick to each part. They told us the in cab is very important and put special detail into making us point at literally everything. Abs light mirrors etc. after pretrip we got right into straight backing. I did terrible 5 times per person then switched out for the next . After lunch another hour of pre trip then they opened up all except two trucks for straight backing maneuvers. I want to say there are six trucks in total on the training yard with trailers attached. Then we called it a day.

Day 3- Started bright and early at 7:30am at the yard no classroom start today. We each got assigned to trucks and told to pretrip them. After one pre trip the instructor had me start doing offset backing! He walked me through it but it was nerve wracking to be the first one trying something new. I ended up doing really good until I went to lunch. I don’t know what happened I guess I got full and had a brain fart because I started doing terrible instructor gave me crap about it in a joking manner and sent me back to doing straight backing again haha. Today was the day when the rest of the class went for physical’s. My state requires a medical card before a permit can be issued so me and a couple others already had those done. We have lost quite a few people at this point. I won’t go into details here but out of a class of twelve we have six left. Today was the day I started seeing the method to this schools madness about the pretrip after reading aloud so many times and pointing to the different parts I’m starting to remember the phrasing that goes with the specific part on the pretrip. So I am going to start doubling down and probably start coming after class to the yard and doing the pretrip so I can remember it better. I lost my dorm roommate today. He was only here for a refresher course as he already had his Cdl. He used to drive for Budweiser and decided he wanted to go over the road. I’ll miss him he was a fun guy and explained a lot about his experiences driving a truck. Found out today that if you are from out of state and you pass your test they will route your trainer to your home state to get your actual Cdl so that saved me a plane ticket I’m grateful for that.

Day 4- It’s Friday! Started on the yard today. Pre triped the trucks for two hours then it was on to offset backing. They setup a “hard” offset in addition to the “easy” one we have been doing this whole time. I can do the easy offset in my sleep at this point. My first try at the new offset ended in failure. And I got sent back to the easy course. For a bit. My second try worked out well. Until I approached the offset from right of the lane. I was told it is a blind side offset. For some reason I follow the formula they gave me and I just always end up with my back right trailer tire right in line to hit the cone instead of the yellow line marking the “lane” I am supposed to back down. I’m a bit disappointed in myself but it’s going to take practice. Today is Friday! No school until Monday. I have made up my mind to go out tomorrow and the next day and spend a couple hours doing pretrip so I can remember it faster. I know I will forget everything I have learned if I do not keep it up over the weekend not looking forward to my backing Monday after not having kept up the practice over the weekend!

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.

Over The Road:

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
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Kevin;

Me again, haha. I'm SO glad to read this; they really DO have an amazing training program as I'd heard years ago!

One more thing you can do, over the weekend: GO TO a WalMart, and buy a TOY TRACTOR TRAILER. Preferably one of the metal/die cast ones, as they are more accurate, size wise.

Trust me, this helps. When I had my permit (twice,) I used my son's said toys, per my husband, and BOY did it help it all make sense. Some trainers will actually suggest this; ie: Errol V. and especially G'Town (the Mr. 'Watch Your Wagon' brander!)

Since you are (sadly!) alone in your room, you won't feel silly, setting up cones and practicing!! Heck, I bet they even SELL a set of cones in the toy section, nowadays! When you get a new roomie/bunkie, you can teach HIM, haha!

I won't ask what happened to the other 1/2 class; I can only surmise. Sheesh. I'm just glad I didn't steer ya wrong!

One more thing; might help with pre trip:

I know, every company has their own way, and printed materials, but the illustrious version above, is IMPECCABLE!

Best to ya, man. Email in my profile, if I forgot something! (I chat w/a few truckers on here, with permission, LoL!)

~ Anne ~

ps: If you are into YouTube videos, our OWN Kearsey has a great cache: Truckin' Along w/Kearsey!

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Kevin L.'s Comment
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Monday-may 23 2022 Last night was rough, couldn’t sleep at all later in bed tossing and turning for no reason ended up only sleeping four hours. AND I have the pretrip test today. Did not need this today. Started pretrip practice on the yard at 7:30am main instructor tested us one by one. The ones that finished the test went for the very first city drive! I was pretty excited. I surprised myself by completing the test in pretty good shape. Ended the day with -13 points. Failed my Incab because I said 30-40 psi instead of 20-40 psi is when the tractor protection valves would pop out… ended up in third place in my class overall. Then again there are only five of us left haha so I’m not sure that is a good thing. Went on the road test. Instructor gave me the run down on how I should never hit the mustard only the mayonnaise if I have to. And to stay in between them both. Turning in a box is definitely going to be hard to get used to. It feels like your going to run into the medians if you turn just a second later. The trucks they have us driving are short nose automatics so you can get really close before you even start to turn. I did not hit any curbs thankfully. After that it was more pretrip studies then lunch after lunch he had the guy who scored first on the test doing parallel parking. While I practiced the blind side offset. I realized I was following the formula they gave me like a robot without adjusting it based on how my trailer was in the moment. Once I realized that I had no problems anymore doing offset maneuvering. Instructor told me I would start the parallel tomorrow after pretrip practice. I was taught how to uncouple the tractor from the trailer today. We are going to start dropping end of day and connecting back up in the mornings as there is now one truck and trailer for each of us. Last thing they told us about was “regen” apparently the semi has to burn out something because they don’t have the smoke stacks in the newer trucks? Sorry guys 4 hours of sleep remember at this point I was dead on my feet.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

George B.'s Comment
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Good stuff. You will learn more (good and bad) everyday. Keep us posted!!!dancing.gif dancing.gif

Kevin L.'s Comment
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Tuesday-may 24 2022 Started on the yard. Pretrip practice was about two hours. Then we coupled the trailer to the tractors as we unhooked them yesterday afternoon. After that did a full Pretrip again. I was chosen to drive after that the instructor showed me the actual route we will be tested on. It has freaking roundabouts people! Not just a couple either at least four. Right before lunch we had a lecture from safety about csa scores accidents proper procedures for when accidents happen etc. Talked about personal conveyance and when to actually use it. Went to lunch came back and started rotations between the offsets and parallel parking kept that up until it was almost time to go then we unhooked the tractors and trailers and went home. Wednesday-may 25 2022 Started in the classroom because it was raining watched the required videos mostly about sleep apnea and some other topics went to lunch went to the yard did pre trip for about two hours we then rehooked the trailer to the tractors and one more Pretrip then we started the rotations again two backing each person then switch to the next tractor to practice the next backing manuver. Thursday may 26 2022 Started on the yard today Pretrip for two hours the recoupling the tractor to the trailer another Pretrip. Then back to rotations until lunch. After lunch it was classroom watching videos about how to drive in populated cities. I will tell you now dear readers my biggest fear is driving a huge semi in a city like new York and guess what? Of course witte brothers has multiple people we deliver to there man that made me nervous. After that the day was over except every Thursday we have a special lecture this one was about keeping in shape and eating right when you are over the road. Friday may 27 2022 This day was rough for me I caught a cold my head was aching my body felt like something kicked me down several flights of stairs for fun. I hope this is not becoming a habit something always going wrong on test day. We started in the classroom with more videos. I will be totally honest I can't remember a word those videos said my head was pounding and I just needed it to stop right before lunch some guys from the shop came in to tell us about how witte does all our own repairs. They said the rotate tractors and trailers every 2? Or 4? I think it was 4 years they buy brand new trucks and trailers that way they are under warranty. Every time a driver comes back from a trip the tractor goes right into the shop even if nothing was reported and they give it a good look over. They basically told us they only want drivers to worry about lights, belts,tires they will handle the rest. Overall I enjoyed the talk they seem like they really want what is best for the drivers they said if we ever need anything installed just ask them they will install it no problem like custom refrigerators shelving cb radios etc. After that it was lunch. Then it was to the yard for Pretrip practice until we were called to test. I passed with flying colors. I was so happy. He handed us the last packet we will get it has the Pretrip for the trailer and the lights. Oh boy I'm excited once I have this memorized I can focus on just the backing!

Over The Road:

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anne A. (Momma Anne) & To's Comment
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YESSSSS!!!

I'm SO happy to hear from ya, man!

Was gonna put out the 'Momma Anne' BOLO on ya, haha!!

So glad to hear all is still great, you! Tragedy and Travesies and Trucking ... all start WITH the same letters.

RELAX, enjoy the ride! Once you get this, (and you will,) you'll look back like .. 'HMMMMPH!'

~ Anne & Tom ~

ps: G'Town's mantra: 'WATCH YOUR WAGON!'

pps: My driver's mantra: SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERYWHERE a sign !!

Kevin L.'s Comment
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Figured I would not bore you guys with a day to day the last two weeks have been spent out on the yard doing maneuvers all day every day we spent three days the first week after my last update with class work and videos. The rest have been spent doing pretrip and backing. I had trouble with the driver side parallel the most but I can hole in one it now every time after much practice. Alley dock was introduced to us beginning of this week. I was excited for nothing. It’s the easiest one to be honest. The instructor taught us how to set it up and as long as the setup is perfect you can get a hole in one every time no fail. Today is Friday we started in the classroom for a change. He pointed to the whiteboard and there it was our testing day times. Of course I’m the biggest worrier and I test last at 14:00 Monday. I feel really confident. The instructor gave us our 2022 edition of the rand McNally atlas one for each of us yesterday. He gave us some tips to use on test day such as If you get the alley dock and have already burned your 2 get out and looks but you know your setup was perfect just back it into the box until they blow the whistle on you sure it’s 2 points however you know all you have to do is pull forward a bit and your perfect. My only problem will be the road test. I have a lead foot and some of the streets in this town are 20mph especially the street after a really really tight turn. You can’t even take the turn of someone is at the stop sign it’s so tight by the time your done accelerating out of the turn guess what your going too fast and it’s an automatic fail. 20mph below is going to be my mantra on test day. Except 50 on the highway. Pray for me and wish me luck guys and girls test day is Monday! Thank you for reading this diary and I will update if I pass or fail Monday!

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