Central Refrigerated Transport Review

Topic 8215 | Page 1

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Mr. Smith's Comment
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Central Refrigerated the Fontana Yardb> PRE SCHOOL:b> Researching the School. A lot of people slander the company after Swift has taken over... Central Refrigerated is owned by Swift Transportation. I’m not here to give a history of if it was always owned by the owners of Swift or if it was just merged on wall street. All I know is Central Refrigerated is owned by Swift Transportation. Central Refrigerated still advertises as a separate entity than Swift but when you click on the Apply button it takes you to a website that shows they are one and the same… I applied to Central Refrigerated in early in 2015 January or February. I was originally suppose to start my school in Fontana in the week of March 16th but could not. My recruiter was happy to move it up to April 14th for me. With that said. Classes start every Tuesday. Swift has set up online training to get prospects familiar with the general knowledge, air brakes… these are online videos with quizzes. I received an email about a week before school started telling me what I need to bring. The top of the page says TDA 1 Fontanab>… I have seen a lot of guys on YouTube talking about TDA in Fontana and now they drive for Central Refrigerated. I am intrigued to find out what thats all about. from the recruiter:u> - You will need your driver's license, birth certificate, social security card, money for licensing and fees, and a minimum of $300-400 for food while you are in school. ***Please also pack*** * weather appropriate clothing and coats (remember it is winter in many parts of the country while sunny in others) *one weeks worth of outer clothing *two weeks of under clothing *work boots and gloves *a small flashlight *sunglasses * a sleeping bag/ pillow *a set of twin sheets *a couple of towels, wash clothes, and your toiletries ****pack in a duffle bag-type container as suitcases are not appropriate for the space They offered to pay for my bus ticket and to add $500 onto my tuition for hotel costs. I decided to commute instead. I live roughly an hour away and have a family.

Errol V.'s Comment
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I live roughly an hour away and have a family.

An hour commute in LA is about average. Except it's to Fontana, where LA keeps all its smog!

rofl-3.gif

Say "Hi" to My. Baldy for me. (I'm getting too nostalgic! I gotta get a load out that way, soon!)

Mr. Smith's Comment
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I live roughly an hour away and have a family.

An hour commute in LA is about average. Except it's to Fontana, where LA keeps all its smog!

rofl-3.gif

Say "Hi" to My. Baldy for me. (I'm getting too nostalgic! I gotta get a load out that way, soon!)

my average commute for work for the last 15 years was about 2 hours... people that would visist would trip out. theyd say how far is... and Id just say, not too far then wed get to drivin and theyd say how far is it! i forget they come from places where they work where they live...

if anyone has questions feel free to ask, Im not going to be super detailed about things like two flights of stairs and how many trash cans but... if you ask... then maybe...and im not an english major and am not going to fix my grammar mistakes to make anything perfect lol... i should but really right now. Im just tooo tired and dont see the logic behind it. maybe later i will make a more detailed perfect journal of my experience but for now just the plain facts.

DAY 1April 14th 2014

paper work and physical, thats it! contract signing yada yada... the works.

60 Students LINE UP!

most of the students were staying at the econo lodge in fontana on sierra and valley. theres a kmart and a mcdonalds and a food for less... among many other very accessible.

If you dont have a hard copy of your social security card, dont bother showing up. you will be sent home.

Big Room upstairs is the class room bout 60 students. about 10-15 are called at a time. you go to another room and sit their waiting to get your physical, you cannot leave and wonder from this room until you have completed the drug test.

first you get called and she checks your eyes and blood pressure... go back and sit and wait for the pee test.

then you do that

then you go back and wait for the doctor, after you see the doctor you go back to the classroom and sit there filling out more paperwork and watching videos... its hard to really teach anything on this day with everyone not in the same room together...

DAY 2

Study for test aaallll day, literally allllllll day,

all day,

DAY 3

Go to DMV and test. the DMV will give you two tries to pass in the same day, if you dont pass then you drive to the other DMV and test again, if you dont pass you pay again and you have 3 more chances. some people went home because they didnt pass, I really hope they come back because they are good people.

my advice, dont show up to school without studying a couple weeks before hand. DO READ The CA CDL Handbook, and also use the High Road Training Program link in the CDL training material at the top of this page.

the school is not here to actually teach you everything there is to know. it really is a fast paced minimum with the goal of getting you a license, not a masters degree in CDL Law's...

once you pass your test and get your permit you go back to the class and watch a couple videos on pre trip over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.... and over.

DAY 4

Those who failed the permit test go back to the DMV today, those that passed you get to learn about Log Books. again study your log books with the high road training program, this class is not here to teach you all the ins and outs and exceptions. its the minimum basics to help you not be blind when you start logging.

this is your last day with your Permit instructor. it was a good time. I enjoyed the first 4 days.

DAY 5

Pre Trip. ALL day. You do not get in the truck you stay outside and learn your pre trip. remember, BLM, ABC, PMS, ABC and not Leaking... lol. buy about lunch time you start slurring and calling the tires things in languages you never heard before. and by the end of the day every one is speaking in made up languages and nodding.

but ill tell you one thing. everyone will be dreaming the pre-trip tonight. thats certain.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
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by about lunch time you start slurring and calling the tires things in languages you never heard before. and by the end of the day every one is speaking in made up languages and nodding.

So you didn't make all this up. Pre-trip is just that important. And like most other schools, that first day - paperwork and physicals -is a whole lot of nothin' but waiting.

I read on here someone lived in Phelan. Was that you?

Mr. Smith's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

by about lunch time you start slurring and calling the tires things in languages you never heard before. and by the end of the day every one is speaking in made up languages and nodding.

double-quotes-end.png

So you didn't make all this up. Pre-trip is just that important. And like most other schools, that first day - paperwork and physicals -is a whole lot of nothin' but waiting.

I read on here someone lived in Phelan. Was that you?

im not making anything up lol.

nope not me, I live in Hemet.

DAY 6 morning first hour or so going over the pre-trip. then the intructors come to each truck everyone at that truck gets in, the instructor goes through the air tests, low air warning, cut out, cut in, leakage, and spring brake. thats one whole portion. then the three way brake test tractor first, trailer second, then service. after that the inside in cab inspection...

then the instructor gets out and the students inside the truck go over it together one at a time.

after lunch the instructor jumps back in and watches us all go over it one at a time and gives his input.

after that... more practice till the end of the day.

this is the last day ALLL the students re together, we got split up before we went home. so on DAY 7 we will have a Day Shift and a Swing Shift. I chose Swing Shift so I can be with the Kids in the morning instead of getting home and putting them to bed.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Maverick (Tom H).'s Comment
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This is a great post for me, I am considering going to this exact training for swift some time at the end of June. Would like to know how the rest of the days went, along with how it was when you actually got in the trucks for learning how to back and on the road driving...

Mr. Smith's Comment
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This is a great post for me, I am considering going to this exact training for swift some time at the end of June. Would like to know how the rest of the days went, along with how it was when you actually got in the trucks for learning how to back and on the road driving...

Just got home from DAY 7

DAY 7

Today we got there and went upstairs to the classroom. got talked to about some quick rules... no drinks or food in the trucks... listen to the instructors and do what they say and youll do good....

don on the yard pre trip together for a while... maybe a half hour... then they devide you up I got to go out on the road.

first idle shift from 1st to 4th once you get a hang of it. you can use the accelerator. then you drive around the block several times up shifting and down shifting and turning right.

just touch it dont mess around trying to push the clutch in just touch it... Only push it all the way in to stop...

when downshifting... this is where most of the guys are having the hardest time... Drop to 10 tap the clutch and put in neutral at the same time REV IT UP tap the clutch again and put it in gear... ALL simultaneously. the clutch gets tapped twice up and down shifting. seriously its not like rocket science... its just a tap DO NOT push it all the way down dont even push it half way down lol. just tease it. IF YOUR GRINDING GEARS you probably pushed the clutch in too far or you did not rev it back up or you didnt drop to 10 before you started the downshift process...

LUCNH TIME

after lunch we went on the range did straight backing its not a hard thing to do please dont trip out.... your going straight... dont turn your wheel like your trying to turn the corner lol...

then once you know how to go straight backwards, you do your offset? or half shoe situation. this is awesome... I see the math in it so it makes me love it soooo much... i see it as a math problem and I wonder who analyzed the truck to discuss the 45 degrees and 12 feet yada yada...

ok... if your trying to get 12 feet parallel to the right your going to pull forward. then turn all the way to the left back up till you see half of the left sand shoe in your right mirror. STOP. turn all the way to the right, back up till you see half of the right sand shoe in your left mirror STOP turn it back alllll the way and back up till your tractor and trailer are lined up... :) you should be 12 feet to the right. turn your whell back two rotations and start backing straight IF your capable of being in the lines... do that several times...

after that a quick run through on your air tests and pre trip and its time to go home...

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.

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

DAY 8

day 8 was just like DAY 7... the differences are.

we were quizzed on our Air Brakes Tests. Low Air, Cut Out, Cut In, Applied Leakage, Spring Brake (Tractor Protection Valve) thats ONE whole test.

Three Way Brake (Parking Brake "Tractor", Emergency Brake "Trailer", Service Brake)

then we did the same driving like Day 7 practine making right hand turns and shifting up and down...

on the Skills portion we added the Parallel Parking... We practiced parallel parking and offsetting again. we learned, if you didnt offset perfect, when doing your pull up perform a serpentine using your landing gear you can break it up. 1/4 is 3 feet, 1/2 is 6 feet, 3/4 is 9 feet. perform it the same way as you would your offset just going forward... this works very very well.

Advice. please dont trip out. relax, dont over think whats going on. do exactly what the instructor tells you to do. not what you think you should do. the instructors aren't their to sabotage you, they are here to teach you. frustration sets in when someone doesnt understand.

why dont most people understand? Probably because they werent REALLY seeing what the instructor said when he said see the mirror, and they say yes... they really didnt... therefore when it was their turn to go for it. they didnt know how to do it.

Advice. when the instructor is showing you how to set it up. no matter what it is. when he is showing you how to set it up. be certain that you DO see what he is talking about. IF YOU DONT see it.

the instructor AND YOU will be less frustrated IF. you ask a couple more questions BEFORE you start because you WILL do it right IF YOU pay attention.

the frustration will start because you did not look when he say look make it disappear or line it up... you just assumed you know what he is talking about instead of asking. again if you dont see what he is talking about ask him. If may be a little frustrating to keep showing you BUT if your first time you try you get it. Then it paid off for the both of you. I cant say that enough... a few guys are having horrible problems because they didnt understand what to to before they started. And thats not the instructors fault... the other half of the problem is paranoia.

why are people paranoid? well... Men are men. Men of authority can intimidate without trying. Kinda like a cop pulls up to a light and you see people flipping out OH MY GOD... lol. same situation happens with some students. OH MY GOD the instructor is looking at me. Hes not going to take your birthday away calm down, lol.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Another advice on the offset and parallel parking for some guys they tend to let the steering wheel go before the position is complete.

if you are choking someone are you going to let them go before the task is complete? no.

the steering wheel. CHOKE IT. dont let him up till the task is complete.

from left lane.

turn left all the way CHOKE HIM he might move... make sure you choke him till you get that half shoe. once your at that half shoe... you make have to make sure you let it settle dont let him go... make sure... if not hes gonna get you.

turn back right aaallll the way and CHOKE HIM back it up and dont let him up. get your half shoe let it settle maaan make it perfect if not hes gonna get youuuu.

almost there. turn back allll the waayy and CHOKE HIM. if you let up before you line up he WILL get you and your whole fight was a waste of energy. Make sure you hold him down. now that your lined up. check him... turn it back two turns... whats it doing? if you kept him down hes going to lay straight exactly where you want him. if not... better watch your back...

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

DAY9

Pretrip practice, quizzed on air brake tests again, go out on the road, go on freeway on this day. ;)

Back at the yard practice all your skills. Alley Dock, Paralell, Offset and of course straight backing.

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