IITR Oregon

Topic 9854 | Page 1

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Amiel V.'s Comment
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I just started my second week at IITR in Albany, Or. Today we began learning and running through our pretrip inspection. I feel pretty sure about the parts of the truck but I am having a little trouble with the inside cab stuff, specifically the brake check. I have only been driving, in general, for a year. Everything I have driven has been an automatic. I plan on going to May trucking for orientation, training and work. I do plan on requesting to train and work with automatics only. My instructor says that it would be better to stay with a manual for my first six monta just so I will always remember how to do it but I hate manual transmissions and believe that being stuck driving a truck with one would make my time as a driver stressful and irritating. Does anyone have any good tips for me? Wha should I plan to take with me once I start training? I am also an online student in criminal justice and plan on doing that while training and driving as well. I only have a year left for my bachelors and then two years for my masters. Should I make it clear to my trainer that I will need at least an hour a day to have accessible internet for my studies?

Gladiator 76's Comment
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I would be surprised if you had an hour per day to study on the Internet. Your trainer may expect you to spend your time learning how drive and navigate the truck.

Amiel V.'s Comment
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I would be surprised if you had an hour per day to study on the Internet. Your trainer may expect you to spend your time learning how drive and navigate the truck.

I understand that but if we have to take a ten hour break every fourteen hours I'm pretty sure that I can fit my hour a day in there somewhere. Online school is pretty simple. I can do discussion boards (weekly forums concerning a specific topic) on my iPhone on the road. I could type up my writing assignments while we are going down the road and while on break. The hour a day is a best case scenario. I was under the impression that most truck stops have internet. Don't truck drivers always take their ten hours at a truck stop?

Gladiator 76's Comment
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They take their break, especially if they are on electronic logs. Some truck stops charge for Internet. You may be surprised how fast that 10 hours goes.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Jessica A-M's Comment
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I do plan on requesting to train and work with automatics only. My instructor says that it would be better to stay with a manual for my first six monta just so I will always remember how to do it but I hate manual transmissions and believe that being stuck driving a truck with one would make my time as a driver stressful and irritating. Does anyone have any good tips for me? Wha should I plan to take with me once I start training? I am also an online student in criminal justice and plan on doing that while training and driving as well. I only have a year left for my bachelors and then two years for my masters. Should I make it clear to my trainer that I will need at least an hour a day to have accessible internet for my studies?

You could ask to work with automatics only sure. But, that's like asking to have one of your legs cut off and leaving you nothing to stand on. Most companies run manual trucks and most companies expect you to be able to drive a manual truck. Learn to drive the manuals like everyone else or you may find yourself without a job as a trucker because you couldn't find a company to hire you with your "special needs". Maybe when you have more seniority at a company that has manuals and automatics, you could request an automatic then. I suppose you could get lucky and find a company that is all automatics but, you won't be able to switch companies if you get fired or see different opportunities because you never learned a manual.

Have you considered the time you are going to need to spend on this job carefully? You're trying to complete a Bachelor's degree from a moving vehicle where you will be working 10 exhausting hours a day. It's not -just- driving. You're checking your mirrors, shifting, watching the road. Mental exhaustion is the real deal. Sure, you could study for an hour when you're supposed to be on sleeper berth. What about places where there isn't internet or cell service though? What about the days when it's all you can do to drag yourself out of your seat and drop dead in your bunk?

Items To Pack

Good luck.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

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