Finally Going To Test Out Of School And Earn My CDL Class A

Topic 8462 | Page 2

Page 2 of 2 Previous Page Go To Page:
Joe Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Called my manager this morning to talk about a new trainer for me. He gives me two options, one is he can assign a women trainer doing the east coast runs to GA and FL or I can leave Saturday and head to CA but I'll be gone for almost 2 weeks. The wife isn't happy because she's still recovering from her accident and radation treatments. My friend at the company said it's a tough call but I should do the CA trip and maybe when I get back they'll assign Me my own truck and I can really start my career. I guess I have a decision to make before this afternoon. I'll keep you all posted on what I decide to do and if anyone reading this as any input it would be greatly appreciated.

Joe Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Have not been on the site for a few weeks but I've been pretty busy with the start of my trucking career. As I told you in my last post I had a couple options for my next step in training and I chose to do the California trip. What a great decision this was for me. Not only did it give me the opportunity to finally see this beautiful country by driving across it but it also got me into my own truck after the trip. I had a great driver trainer who's name is Ron an he's been training for the company for about 8 years now. He had just taken a freelance writer on his previous trip and I just found the article that was written about trucking on our company website. I'll try and post a link to the article so you can read it if you're interested.

So long story short we did the trip from Pa to the Bakersfield area and back in 10 days which was pretty quick considering that our company does not run new drivers as a full team like some of the other large companies do that I've read about. Started training right from he time we left the yard, Ron tells me to start he truck, find the trailor were supposed to take and hook up to it. This was more training I received in the first ten minutes than I received on my first short trip that took 3 days. With all do respect to my first trainer he was not a trainer and realized that it wasn't his cup of tea within the first hour of our trip.

So we hit the road and start to talk to get to know each other a bit. I started to slowly ask some questions that I had about trucking and Ron was more than willing to share his knowledge and experience with his students as I soon found out. He enjoys giving back as he put it because of the time that his trainer invested in his training and he likes training new drivers especially if they are new to trucking in general. On the third day he wanted to push me a bit to see what I had to give and see if I cold handle the long days that I might face when I was on my own. He did something he had never done with a new student before, he said he was going to take a nap while I was driving so we could put on some miles for the day. Now this not only made me feel very comfortable and confident, but I took it as an extremely good compliment to my driving ability. He told me that in his 8 years of training that he never felt this confident this quickly with a student driver. I though he was pulling my leg af first but later that day when he called his wife and I heard her reaction to the fact I knew he wasn't bull shi@@ING me. So off to slerp he goes for almost 5 hours. Really boosted my confidence and put me at ease for the rest of the trip. He mentioned that his previous milage record with a student driver was 846 miles for the day and I said let's see if we can break it. I'm happy to say that we finished the day with 1109 miles for the day. Another conference build for me. Now some of you are probably saying big deal our trainer due that all the time and rightfully so but this isn't one of those large companies that use training students as a way to boost productivity out of a truck. So regardless I'm still proud of this small accomplishment on this trip and so early in my career.

If was a great experience driving cross country with a trainer who genuinely cares about training his students and to say I've driven the mountains out west. Now we didn't run rt 80 or go through Donner Pass but for a rookie like myself it was a great learning experience. I learned a lot on this trip and someday I'll ask to run to the west coast again and take the wife for the ride to see this beautiful country first hand. Pictures definitely do not do it justice, you need to see it for yourself to really appreciate it.

I explained to my trainer several times during our trip that I have a lot to learn and I didn't want to be given my own truck unless my trainer felt 100% confident that I was read both from a safety stand point ax well as the ability to drive. While we were doing our 34 hour reset we spent the day working on docking manouvors and practice, practice, practice. Until this trip no one had showed me how to manouvor the rig into position to dock similar to the procedure you use to do a parellel park. I mean you have to be given the basics before you can work on getting better at it. After the first few backs he told me I have the moves correct I just need practice and experience and that this will come with time driving and having different situations to figure out how to dock. I think that the years of driving my 1 ton dumb with my 21 foot landscape trailor has been a great help in making some of the driving skills needed to move a big rig easier for MD to learn and accomllish. By the end of the day he told me that I'm ready to be put out on my own which I felt was a little quick but it's also the hope I had after taking this west coast trip.

So the day we return he speaks with the safety manager about my driving ability and when i finally walk into the office area the safety manager asked how the trip went along with the usual questions you might expect to get. After a few minutes he said well you probably want a few days off so how about I call you as soon as I find you your own truck and you xsn come in and take it home to set it up for yourself and we'll get you out on your first trip. Yahooooooooo I made it to where I wanted to be when we got back home.


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.

Joe Y.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd like to thank my driver trainer for his dedicated time and effort he put into teaching me on this trip and for not only building my confidence but for also making it a point to say that I'm ready and he has full confidence in my abilities to not just drive but knowing I'll do it safely.

The only downside so far is that I asked to run regional which for us is from PA to GA and FL but he placed me on the local board. I found out from my friend that works for the same company that the local driver manager has been asking for some better drivers because he feels he doesn't have but a few good drivers. He's has worked hard to get a major home improvement chain on board as one of our clients and I know where he's coming from. So I was handed the fuel cards and gate pass along with the keys. Well I knew that the company is in the process of buying all new KW trucks and the old ones are being fazed out of the company fleet. The old ones are Volvo automatics or as most drivers call them "junkomatic" and although they are nice trucks it's not the type of truck that I want to be driving. Call me old or old school or whatever you like but my vision of driving is floating gears in my 10 speed manual shifting truck either a Pete or a KW. Now the coast and the regional drivers are given the 10 speed manual trucks because the company claims that the fuel economy is better and the Volvo trucks were last to phase out for the local drivers. Now local with the company doesn't mean your home ever day, so far I've been home 1 night during the week the past 2 weeks and home for 1 1/2 Days on the weekends. Hey I'm the rookie and I have to do my time and pay my dues.

So the only thing I'm not happy with is the truck I'm driving. Don't get me wrong the Volvo is a very comfortable and very nice running truck, just not my idea of truck driving. I also wanted to run regional because new drivers pay is less so I figure if I could get onto the highway and run down the road most of the day I could get enough miles to make what I need to be making. The safety manager said try it and if you want to run regional I'll move you to the regional board but you'll be home more often from the local board. Well not from what I'm seeing so far but I'll give it a few weeks and see how the paychecks are before I make a decision on being asking to move over to regional.

One last note and more of an observation on my part. With the shortage of truck drivers and every company in the country looking to fill positions for drivers with not much luck I can't understand how drivers pay is not much higher than it is currently. I've read recently that drives pay hasn't changer much in the past 25 years and I'm a little suprized that for the amount of time and effort as well as time away from home that this career requires that companies haven't yet raised pay significantly for drivers. My friend and I have been discussing this topic

Floating Gears:

An expression used to describe someone who is shifting gears without using the clutch at all. Drivers are taught to "Double Clutch" or press and release the clutch twice for each gear shift. If you're floating gears it means you're simply shifting without using the clutch at all.


Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Driver Manager:

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.


Operating While Intoxicated

Joe Y.'s Comment
member avatar

Just a quick note about the trucks we drive. I was issued a Volvo with a 12 speed automatic which is a very nice truck and very roomy inside but to me and a few of my friends who work for the same company it just doesn't feel like truck driving to us unless we're shifting gears. Probably grinding a few ever now an then since we are rookies. The company is in the process of switching all trucks over to KW 680's and there's a few brand new ones in the yard every week that still have the plastic on the seats. I sat in one the other night when I got back to the yard and let me tell you they are really nice trucks. I can't wait until I'm issued my new one and take the first trip with it. Time can't move fast enough knowing there's a brand new KW 680 with a 10 speed in my future. Wish I was getting one next week but I guess I'll just have to wait my turn.


Operating While Intoxicated

Page 2 of 2 Previous Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Links On TruckingTruth

example: TruckingTruth Homepage

Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview



Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training