Any Alumni From LBW Community College CDL Program In Opp, AL?

Topic 9408 | Page 1

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Shirley K.'s Comment
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I've searched with every combination of terms I can think of, but I can't find anyone who has gone through the truck driving program at this school. I'd love to get some info on how the classes run. I start there August 17.

Thanks in advance

Shirley K.'s Comment
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Posting again here 1) hoping someone will see it and can chime with any experience or even hearsay about LBW's program and 2) because I'm so dang excited, I have to share! The BF is great about listening to my daily "Wow! I learned THIS and THIS and THIS on the High Road program today" and my constant "I saw a truck do this today. How did he do that?" questions, so I figured he needed a break....and y'all can scroll on down past it if it's boring ;)

So my excitement today: I went down to Panama City to the TSA for fingerprinting for my HazMat endorsement. My seat was directly across from a window in line with the guard shack. With every truck that came through, my chest got tighter and tighter. I am so stinkin' thrilled to have an opportunity to call one of those beauties mine soon. I could have sat there for hours.

Next, I was at a convenience store fueling up (a tiny little thing crammed into an even tinier little intersection) and watched a big truck pull up, and almost magically do a perfect alley dock with nearly zero inches to spare. No hesitations, no sweat. Just poof, he was perfectly backed in and traffic was back to flowing. I wanna be able to do that!

24 more days til school starts!

P.S. The BF has decided to start the High Road program, too. He's been driving for over 20 years, but says he is learning new stuff and remembering stuff he's forgotten by listening to me yammer. Thanks, guys, for an awesome program!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Shirley K.'s Comment
member avatar

I've completed the High Road Program, WOW!! Brett is not kidding when he says it takes about 80 hours to complete. I already had my permit when I started the program, so I expected it to all be pretty familiar. I was wrong! The additional input from TT and the Weights, Logbook , and Securement sections were like NOTHING I've found elsewhere. I cannot begin to explain how much I've learned. Additionally, I learned some very important lessons about how being tired, trying to focus on too many things at once, or just sitting for too many hours straight degraded my performance on the quizzes. There's definitely a real-life lesson to be applied there.

I can't believe this stuff is free! Thank you!

19 days until class starts and I can't wait! I got word today that the truck I'd been using for backing practice may become available again soon. I'm crossing my fingers.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Shirley K.'s Comment
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Yesterday, I drove over to the campus where class will be. It's large dirt track with a couple of nice looking "Student Driver" marked trucks and lots of orange cones. There were only 3 cars, so I'm guessing we're talking small classes. I'm hopeful and excited! I'd still love to hear from someone who's taken their training.

The paperwork came through last night and today I got to do some more backing practice. Right off the bat, I made a giant S instead of backing straight up. Pulled up, took a breath and nailed the straight back and a ninety degree turn. I can't wait until this stuff is second nature and yet I hope I never forget the humbling feeling of trying to do these simple little maneuvers. Thank y'all for all the tips and positive attitudes.

17 days!

Hiram H.'s Comment
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I agree 100%, the High Road Training Program is great! It helped me pass the CDL permit on one sitting including the tanker endorsement. I will start my CDL school tomorrow in a Technical College here in Georgia. I don't know what to expect. I will be keeping my eyes wide open! Need to pass my CDL testings. Good luck to us! We need it. Keep us post it!

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.
Shirley K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks and good luck! I took a few days off from technology and spent some quality time with my kayak :) On the way home, I stopped at a couple of truck stops and got signed up for their points programs. Still counting the days!

Shirley K.'s Comment
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Week one of training complete. I'm exhausted but stoked. We've been doing long days of paperwork (logs and FMSCA studying), videos, and driving. The school has a half mile dirt track and two trucks. There are only three students in our class, so one of us has a truck to practice pre-trip while the other is practicing upshifting and/or backing with the third observing with the instructor and getting his insights. We've had a recruiter drop by already, and the mandatory online application we completed has generated for me individually 8 voicemails and about 30 emails already.

Our instructor is encouraging and providing additional training for hazmat , tanker, doubles/triples, and passenger endorsements. Even though we had a lot of driving time, our instructor has offered to stay late or come in on the weekends to give us as much extra time in the trucks as we want. If we don't pass our tests, it will be only due to our own lack of effort.

Back to studying for me, but wanted to update this thread. Drive safe, y'all!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Fm:

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.
Shirley K.'s Comment
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It's been a busy few weeks. I passed the tests for hazmat , tanker, and double/triple endorsements, so those will go on my CDL as soon as I pass the PreTrip/Control Skills/Road tests in two weeks (fingers and toes crossed). Because of the new rule that doesn't allow our instructor to conduct our testing, we have to go another facility for the testing. It definitely adds some pressure to know that retesting won't be as simple as it sounds like it used to be when one could retest at the school grounds with the instructor as often as needed. I'm really hoping that my classmate and I will pass on the first try and the worry will be for naught.

I am surprised at how the backing has gone from "This trailer is possessed by demons and hates me!" to "Hmmm, I can kinda see where those tandems are gonna head and if I do this, they'll go there...probably" ;) Having plenty of time to just experiment with the backing really helped.

The road test really has me worried, just because of the seemingly long list of "automatic failure" items.

No pre-hire letters, but the Swift recruiter said "Just call me when you graduate and we'll put you in orientation." I'm not sure what I'm not doing or am doing wrong to not have gotten those letters I've heard so much about. Thoughts? Are the lack of pre-hire letters an indicator I will have a problem finding a job when I graduate? I have one ticket (speeding 5-9mph over the limit) and it doesn't show up on my MVR. I am honest about its existence though. I have a solid work history (worked 20 years for only two employers) and own my own business. No felonies, no arrests, no lawsuits, good credit rating, no physical disabilities (2 year DOT medical). Any suggestions are appreciated.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Shirley K.'s Comment
member avatar

Class complete. CDL class A with Tanker/Hazmat/Doubles/Triples. I start with Con-way on October 12.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Shirley K.'s Comment
member avatar

I've finished orientation at Con-way and am waiting on a finisher. In the meantime, I'm getting layover pay, a free private hotel room, and I have a weekend to go play in a new city! Life is great! I'm very impressed with Con-way so far, based on the organization of the orientation, interaction with other drivers and non-drivers who work here, and the overall package.

I'm rocking and ready to roll!

Brett, if you'd like to change the title of this thread to "Diver to Driver Metamorphosis", since that school has closed shop anyway, it would be great by me!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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