And So It Begins…..

Topic 32570 | Page 2

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Etch's Comment
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So Day 1 is in the books. Started out in the class doing a quick overview of orientation. Had 1 guy that had to get a wake up call in his room from the instructor. Not a good way to start off. Got to get on the simulator in the afternoon. That was pretty fun. Took a little getting used to, though. Started the day with 7 in the class- ended the day with 6. Got a pretty good feeling we’ll lose 2 more before Wednesday.

Because of the holiday they are speeding up orientation. This is good- it means I’ll be able to get on the pad Thursday. I want to see if all the studying I did before getting here has paid off.

The hotel is owned by Prime so everything as far as orientation goes is on site. That makes it nice. It’s an older hotel with really no frills, but who cares? I’m not here for a vacation. If anything, it’s just more motivation to learn faster and pass my CDL so I can get on the road.

Tomorrow will probably be a lot like today- class in the morning and simulator in the afternoon. We are testing out on the simulator tomorrow and if that goes well then we can get to the terminal on Wednesday to get badged. Not sure if we have to wait for everyone to pass, or if they take those who have and the others stay back to retest. Again, doesn’t matter. All I need to worry about is making sure I’m doing what I need to do and be where I need to be.


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.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ryan B.'s Comment
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Military training and experience will definitely put you ahead of others in adjusting to the training environment. Sounds like you have fallen in step pretty well. Keep doing what you do, and things will continue to progress well.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Study that pretrip! I heard your instructor is as bad as a drill sergeant! Mean and loud! 😂

Etch's Comment
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Day 2 and the theme of the day is Semper Gumby- always flexible. With the shortened week it has caused a lot to get skipped over, condensed, retraced, and then changed all together. Got the final ‘all clear’ from HR this morning so was able to get my badge printed. Didn’t get it then. Said we had to wait until we passed the simulator assessment and that we would get them tomorrow morning. No problem. So that was all for the morning. Rest of the time was to be spent on finishing all our computer classes until 1300. That’s great except I finished mine yesterday. 4 hours of South Park reruns for me! But if my instructor asks- I studied pre-trip for 4 hours. I heard she’s mean and loud…….kinda like a chihuahua (but don’t tell her I said that).

Went back to the sim lab at 1300 and that when plan A suddenly jumped to plan D. Apparently we were to get our badges today and be at the plaza first thing in the morning for more classes. But the remaining classes we were suppose to get here weren’t going to happen due to a variety of reasons. No problem. Did the sim assessment and got my badge. And then I had to sit there while some asked these crazy questions as if they were literally afraid to leave the hotel to venture out into that strange new world. Oh, by the way, we lost 1 student in the morning and then another this afternoon so we are now at 4.

I told the remaining students that I was going to take the 0700 shuttle to the plaza in the morning. One got visibly upset and said it does t take that long to get there. I realize this, but early is on time and on time is late. Besides, do you really have anything better to do?? So we’ll see who shows up in the morning. Again, all I gotta worry about is my narrow butt.

So done with orientation and now it’s on to some actual training. Time to separate the adults from the children. Really looking forward to getting on that pad.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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There we are!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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George B.'s Comment
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You are going to rock it brother. There will be setbacks(backing, etc) but you will only get better. Is Kearsey going to be your trainer?

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Yes... I'm a glutton for punishment.


Etch's Comment
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Day 3. Didn’t get a chance to post this last night. Got back to my room around 2230 and didn’t feel like doing much of anything but stuffing my fat face and hitting the rack. So the day started at 0700 with classes. Last class was on the Qualcomm. Lady spent two hours going over HOS and all the different status’s on the QC. She closed the class with telling us that the Qualcomm sucks. Noted.

Finally got to do some pre-trip on an actual rig. First time since I began studying that I could do it on a truck. Learned that the studying actually paid off. Really do need to throw some credit at Kearsey. Her study sheet was amazing and she kept reminding me to pre-trip, pre-trip, pre-trip for the last month or so. I gotta clean the verbiage up a little, but was nailing all the items for the most part.

Got to watch some backing practice with Kearsey.s other students. Before long she threw me in the truck to have me try it. Crash and burn! Lol. While the pre-trip may have boosted my confidence, the first attempt at parallel parking did not! Lol She does have some great reference marks for each backing procedure so as long as you trust those, it becomes a lot easier.

Did get to go out and drive around town a little. Kinda surprised when she suggested it considering her first rule is don’t kill Kearsey. It’s dark, raining, and I’ve got all of 10 minutes of experience in this rig. Sure, let’s go hit the town! What could possibly go wrong? Lol stayed at half speed for a bit while I got used to everything going on and what I needed to watch during turns. Figured people behind me can get as mad as they want, it’s not like they were going to push me out of the way. But after awhile I felt like I was getting the hang of it and was able to at least get up around the speed limit. I did learn one thing pretty quick- the length of the truck and the height you sit are pretty much the ONLY two things this has in common with driving a fire truck! Turning requires even more attention. Lane control is more difficult with subtle trailer swaying that seems very exaggerated in the mirror.

Not gonna beat myself up too hard considering that was day 1 behind the wheel, but I know there is a lot of room for improvement. For anyone reading this that is thinking about or heading to training, I got this one simple piece of advice- trust your trainer! You may not understand why they are having you do a maneuver a particular way. It may even appear at the time that you are heading way off course. Just trust them. It will all begin to make sense. Oh, and for the love of God- don’t argue with your trainer. Got to witness someone doing that a few times yesterday. If you’re wrong, just say you’re wrong and move on. If the trainer says you were wrong then guess what? You were wrong! Doesn’t matter if you don’t think so. Just own it, make corrections, and move on. It’s not like these trainers are plotting for your failure. They have a vested interest in you passing.

So it’s raining now and suppose to continue all day. Let’s see what day 4 will bring! I’m off to the pad. Happy Thanksgiving y’all


Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


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.

G-Town's Comment
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You hit the Lottery here Etch… be the sponge!

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