I'm In!!! Orientation With Melton Truck Lines In Tulsa, OK

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Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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See also: Melton Truck Lines Review

I can't say that I wasn't worried. Orientation with Melton Truck Lines started today. The first day was for the most part administrative. Lots of forms to fill out. Lots of videos to watch. But the biggest thing, at least for me, was the DOT physical that they administer. Some companies will farm that out. Melton prefers to administer their own and have the results there immediately. The part that had me 'worried' was the BP measuring. Well I was dancing all over the classroom because I had to go so bad. I asked the nurse when she went by if I could possibly do my urinalysis next as I could not even concentrate on the forms or videos since we were all instructed to "hold it" and I was trying. She let me go next and what a relief (no pun intended)! However, she just continued on with the physical. Next was the BP. She put this automatic device on my arm. I was thinking that holding that long may have driven my BP up too far. When the device finished, it was 146. :>(

I commented to her that my BP may have gone up because of blah, blah, blah.... She said, "No problem. I'll just use this manual one. I almost had to close my eyes! She let the pressure out and then pumped it up again and let the pressure out. I couldn't look. She said, "It's fine." "Really?" I asked. "How much was it?" She said 122.

Woohoo!!!!!!! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

When that was done, I had to perform a one-legged stand (to ensure balance was okay). I had to stand on one leg for 30 seconds without going into a break dance. Then on the other leg. Well I won't say I didn't dance, but I passed that one, too. (We also had to lift 3 tarps off the ground and place them on the back of a trailer, then back on the floor.)

dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gif

Then of course, there was the road test. I won't go into all that on this thread as I will be starting a diary thread in that section. But the main thing is, I PASSED THAT TOO!!!! dancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gifdancing-dog.gif

So since I officially made it past all the show-stoppers for me, I am changing my status from 'In CDL School' to 'Company Driver in Training.' The pressure is off but now there is a lot of hard work ahead with all kinds of securement classes and it is 99% hands-on training. I am so looking forward to that, even though it will be hard work. Tomorrow we start doing that kind of thing all day long.

Bring it on! smile.gif

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.
Meltonfloyd's Comment
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Hey Steve, do not slack off, they will have no problem sending you home. You haven't made it until next Monday(actually Sunday), they will do and say things to test your character and nerve. You may not think so, but you are being evaluated at every moment, so be proactive, show interest and be your best behavior until you get your ID and a hand shake welcoming you to Melton next Sunday..

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Hey Steve, do not slack off, they will have no problem sending you home. You haven't made it until next Monday(actually Sunday), they will do and say things to test your character and nerve. You may not think so, but you are being evaluated at every moment, so be proactive, show interest and be your best behavior until you get your ID and a hand shake welcoming you to Melton next Sunday..

You are so right and thanks for the heads up. I think they sent 3 guys home today; we'll see tomorrow. I don't want to slack off at all. I want to learn as much as possible and hope that they see something salvageable in me to keep me. There is a long way between now and Sunday. I hope I keep making the grade! I really need this job and I need to know how to do it right.

Old School's Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Congratulations Steven! dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

It's hard to believe you've finally got this ball rolling - hang in there, because things are about to start moving exponentially faster for you.

Steve L.'s Comment
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30 started with my class with Maverick. There are only 4 left with the company including myself

Meltonfloyd's Comment
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Did they quit or were let go??

30 started with my class with Maverick. There are only 4 left with the company including myself

Steve L.'s Comment
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If I recall, about a dozen were sent home for various reasons. Think 12 actually graduated. Think the others probably found something more local to them but not sure. First week think 8 were gone. Some left in thier own, tho before training was even finished

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Short update here. I am starting the forth day and there are only four if us left. My group had eight on Monday and four were canned. I know of one that was canned for failing the road test. I was in the truck that he drove and he just didn't have the driving skills (I'm being really nice here....). His right side trailer tires went off the road too far on one turn. He always started out in 1st gear. Ne missed a sign by a half inch on one turn. And for every stop he coasted in neutral to the stop sign or stop light; and I'm talking 300-500 feet of coasting and just braking! We were hauling a load of concrete barriers for construction zones. He may have made some mistakes that I didn't see, but my eyes were closed.

shocked.png

I know any four of us left could still be let go, but I have a feeling they are focusing on us to stay. I am still going to give it my best shot.

BTW, Melton's oldest driver stopped by the classroom yesterday. He is a 2 million plus driver that is 73 years old. I wanted to talk to him but he was already gone when the break came up.

Today? Driving as we are going to be practicing the defensive driving techniques we learned yesterday.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Day number two at Melton orientation (Part 1)

Today we were issued some PPE (personal protective equipment) as well as a couple of other items. We were told to wear our steel-toed boots today as we were going to be in the yard the whole day.

We all (us four) met in the classroom and the mean-looking guy came in and told us he would be teaching us the entire day as the normal instructor was off because of the upcoming holidays. "We are going to learn about load securement and tarping a load," the mean-looking guy said. By the way, his name is Josh and he has been trucking for I think he said over nine years in the business. He drew a diagram on the dry-erase board and explained what tiers in the load meant. We went over what DOT policy was and the securement requirements were, what dunnage was and how it is used in loading a flatbed.

Once we got that introduction, we went out back to the yard. There were static displays of different types of common freight that are hauled on flatbeds. We saw the suicide coil, the eye in the sky coil, the shotgun coil, slinkys, pipe in 5 tiers, glass, equipment, steel plates, etc. He compared the DOT requirements with the current Melton securement policy. We learned how to operate the straps, the chains along with the binders, how and why you pad your loads. Just a wealth of information. I am not going to go through everything we were exposed to, but just wanted to give you an idea of the information we had to learn; a lot of which we are going to have to memorize.

Once all the introductions to all the subjects were made, we then started our hands-on practicing. I must insert here that we went over safety, safety, and wound it out with safety. So we went to the back garage where we had our tarp lifting tests and divided up into pairs (remember there are only four of us left) and started to unsecure a load. Once all the chains and/or straps were off the load and on the floor, then we had to put it back together again. It was really warm in that garage. There were floor fans that we turned on to get the air circulating. I must say that it was quite the workout.

During the course of the day, Josh (the mean-looking guy) asked me which branch of the military I was in. I told him, "Army." He smiled and exclaimed, "me, too." "Which MOS did you have?" I told him, "Infantry." "I had a blue chord, too," he said proudly. "Tell me," he said, "were you officer or enlisted?" "Well I was enlisted," I told him. I was happy where this was going. "Outstanding!" he exclaimed, and he gave me a fist bump. He asked which rank I was when I retired and he was happy to hear what I had attained. We went on to talk about where we took our basic training and it turns out that we missed each other by one cycle at the same place at Fort Benning. Now talk about a coincidence. So now I understand his "meanness" and demeanor. It all makes sense now. He also had done a couple years as a drill sergeant (big surprise there)! So I have the feeling that we hit it off and do not think he is so mean-looking anymore.

We finished the plate steel load and started on the pipe load. I was already soaking wet with sweat. I don't think I have worked do hard in a long time. I sure was getting some good exercise. It wasn't impossibly hard, it was just intense, and stuffy in the garage. We started the pipe load and then it was time for a lunch break.

Stay tuned for part 2!

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Larry E.'s Comment
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Welcome to the world of flat bed and Melton. You can't learn enough in your yard or on the road training. The first 3-6 mo is the most difficult. After that it is just hard work!

Be flexible and patient, communicate with your DM and life is good. See you out here at some point.

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.
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