A Rook's Attempt At A Veriha Training Diary

Topic 32493 | Page 3

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Ryan B.'s Comment
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Just something to remember:

Teaching a subject to someone else is the most efficient way to retain a high percentage of any subject matter. Hearing it and reading it are relatively low retention rates. Writing it is a bit better. Teaching it is by far the best for retention of the material. So, find people willing to be guinea pigs and teach them your pre-trip spiel.

Sandman J's Comment
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Back at it after the week off. Ryan, I agree, so that's how I spent this morning's pre-trip hour. Tomorrow I will run through it myself just to make sure I'm still fresh on it.

I did my road drive in the morning and it was my best day for turns yet. I was never worried about curbing or even scraping. My only critiques were that I over-extended once (I thought take all the room you have, but was told to factor that in with not giving cars room to try to squeeze by on the right. Ok, will do.) and once I did not drop back quick enough to maintain safe distance when a car that passed me on the highway got in front of me. Lessons learned. It was a great start to the morning. Then I joined the two others who finished their drives back on the range for backing practice. We were all rusty as the instructors assumed we would be. Then something the instructor said finally clicked. Just like on the 90, he had me do hard rights and hard lefts on the offset, where my amateur mind wanted to go straight-wheel. After that, my offsets were much better. I will alter as needed if I make it to real-world scenarios but for now I'm happy with that. My 90s weren't great though. I know we are all our own worst critics and the instructors didn't think I was doing as bad as I did, but I didn't care for how they were going. All in all, I'm feeling confident on my pre-trip and road drive, and on the straight-line back and feeling better on the offset now, so hopefully in the next two days my 90s get to where they need to be.

PackRat's Comment
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Missed your training posts!

Sandman J's Comment
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Missed your training posts!

Wow, thank you very much PackRat!!! I'm glad to be back and learning.

Today was a great day! After the daily hour pre-trip, where me and the other student I've been working closest with had a few questions clarified by the instructor. Then we drove over to the movie theatre lot where our pre-trip and backing maneuvers for the test will take place, as well as where our road drive will start and end. We'd get periodically pulled away from the backs for our road drive. Today, there on pavement, it finally clicked for the 90 (I think, anyways!). We started with one or two straight line backs which was even easier here than on the training range, then two offsets that I executed the best I probably ever have, which gave me confidence. Trust me, not ****iness by any means, just confidence. Then we started the 90s, which I've been afraid of. But just like the other two maneuvers, something happened and I was doing them great. Trainee-great, make that. But between all my backs today, I was doing zero-point maneuvers, and for the first time ever, I feel confident about the test. Which is great, because we got our test times today. Three of us go on Thursday, I'm the third and final of the day at 1330hrs. The other two go on Friday. We all improved today which was great to see! Tomorrow should be a repeat of today, and hopefully I can gain some more confidence right before test day.

I also forgot to mention yesterday, at the start of our road drive we had to pull in to the fuel lane. We got a first-hand view in what not to do, per the instructor and per the TT experts. Not only was the BT rig parked there for quite a while (it's a public station but on/near the terminal's property so we could see), but the driver was nowhere to be found.....while fueling his rig!!! Yep, nozzle in tank, driver in ??? Thought I'd share that.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Sandman J's Comment
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Okay, last update before test time. To start the day, I was going to work with two other students on PTI while two others were working on a different truck. But a third truck needed to be pre-tripped so I volunteered to do that, and hammered out the complete front-to-back and it felt great. Then over to the test site to practice our backs. My first offset was bad, the next was decent and the third and last was the best. We chose the day to some degree since tomorrow is test day for three of us and Friday for the other two. We were all feeling decent about our offset abilities so we set the cones up for the 90s. Also periodically one or two students would get pulled away from the backs to do our road drive. I was told if I do that tomorrow I will pass no problem. I'm not worried about the PTI or road drive so much as hoping my backs go well, but I just need to stay calm and make it do what I learned how to make it do. It sounds like when we pass our tests, we go back to the training center to find the instructors and they'll get us with Operations to set some things up. After that it's pretty much our call, as to if we want to go home before starting training and when we want to start, which I assume trainer availability / location might come into play. My plan is to go home, go over the HM and Doubles/Triples on the High Road again, then go to the DMV and see how easy the not-so-great state of Illinois makes it for me to get that Class A on my license! As of now, I'd like to spend the week at home, not only to see my wife and other family before starting the next phase, but also to increase the likelihood of seeing snow/winter weather driving with a trainer sitting beside me.

After class three of us went to a local joint across the river for dinner on an instructor's suggestion and it did not disappoint. The burgers, called Wabashes, were by one get one half off and pretty tasty. Glad we went.

Hopefully my next post is to report good news!

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
George B.'s Comment
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Good luck, Driver! Keep us posted!

Sandman J's Comment
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Good luck, Driver! Keep us posted!

Thanks George! I'm here to report good news...I passed my CDL tests on the first try! What a relief. Here's how it went. I was scheduled to go third and last of the day. Maybe 45 minutes before my test time, I hear the head instructor calling my name from the hallway. I open the door, he says the last contender failed and I can head over now if I want. Well I sure do want, and did! Being last and having most of the day to get in my own head was not helpful, and come to find out not only the one before me but the first student also failed didn't ease my nerves. But I realized it's all up to what I can do. It's still the same, I know the pre trip and I can handle the road drive, just make sure my backs go well. First guy drew bumper to bumper for pre trip and told me he barely passed. But he nailed the backs, scoring only one point on the offset and aced the 90! But pulling out of the lot he curbed it. Second guy failed on his LABs (brake tests) so he was done. More done than I thought because he went home and is not coming back, still not certain if that was a company or a him decision. That's a shame either way because he seemed like a decent dude and I deemed him to be the second best backer of the five of us. He was the one I'd been working with on pre-trips for the first hour of each day and his game improved immensely. Well, my turn. I got lucky and drew engine compartment for my pre trip, just what I was hoping for. Between that, coupling and external light check which everyone does, I only forgot one thing (say the electric cord and air hoses are securely connected at the tractor, I only said at the trailer). Part one, success. On to part two, what had me nervous from the get-go, the backs. Straight line goes fine as expected. Offset I've been hit or miss, luckily today was a hit and did it with zero points. On to the 90 / alley dock. Got myself in a real pickle there, by not trusting myself, a problem I've had since day one of training. Ended up getting pinched as the instructors called it, between the alley and the forward barrier. That's actually not a problem I had had in training, but got there today. I got more and more nervous as I tried to keep up with how many points I was racking up with each garbage pullup I was doing. I was soooo close to encroaching on the final back (I think maybe 1/2 an inch) but I had to go for it and hope for the best. End result: I got my ICC bumper in the box, with a total score on backing maneuvers of 10. 13's the final pass number, 14 you're out. Whew! I was already ecstatic at that point even though part three was still to come. Road drive went fine, nothing really to mention there. I had speed and lane control, he asked what signs said and I told him, and I did the turns best I could and they were good enough for this trainee to pass.

After that, I went back to base and was introduced to my fleet leader who used to be a driver, and the plan is I will start next phase of training with a home daily driver based out of southern Wisconsin and they'll put me up in a hotel for that stretch. I expressed to her that my goal if at all possible is to see winter driving with a trainer, and if taking time off between now and then can facilitate that then great. So she decided with Thanksgiving nearing, the fact that my trainer might take that time off, and freight will probably be slow then, I will start next week, take the Thanksgiving week off, then do my second week with my home daily trainer after that.

From Veriha's newest CDL holder, thank you everyone for all your support, advice, and encouragement. I will need it as I know this roller coaster ride is just beginning!

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations!

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George B.'s Comment
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Nice job driver. dancing.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-dog.gif

G-Town's Comment
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Awesome! Congratulations!

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

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