Today was a much better day than yesterday. Instead of just paperwork, we had some real-world stuff. First, I had to take a quick driving test. This is nothing like the CDL road test. It's just to prove to them that you aren't completely crazy and know the basics of shifting. These trucks are awesome! I haven't seen a bad looking truck yet. Even the training truck I was in was nice. Comfortable leather seats, VORAD and accident avoidance systems, all the bells and whistles, etc. When I first went to shift, I was shocked by how little play the shifter had. It's a short throw shifter compared to what I had in training. Night and day. My road test went just fine, so no problems there.
We had a class on HazMat loads and company policies regarding them. This company hauls a lot of medication, which is usually considered HazMat. Even those that don't have a HazMat endorsement are expected to know the policies since they will likely be around HazMat trucks at one point or another. There weren't any tests or anything on this, just letting us know their policies. Pretty straight forward and common sense for the most part. It was all review for me since I have my HazMat endorsement already.
Next up was a very humorous sexual harassment class. Luckily, this wasn't a typical sexual harassment course like most companies have. In my experience, most sexual harassment courses make you feel like you have to walk on broken glass all day every day. This guy was very realistic and knows we've all been through these courses before. He made it very humorous and relatively painless.
After that was a very interesting class on load security. We started off covering the basics on how to make sure a shipment is properly loaded. But that wasn't the interesting part. We also covered a topic on high value loads. They had a load last year that was worth 35 million dollars. The company I work for frequently hauls medication in large quantities. These loads can easily eclipse the million dollar mark. I won't get into specifics on the company policies regarding these loads for obvious reasons, but I must say it was extremely interesting. And when you get this type of load, they know where you are and what you're doing at all times. It's taken very seriously, as you would expect. If you ever have the urge to steal a load off of a truck, you better think twice about it. They have some pretty sneaky tricks up their sleeve!
The rest of the day was spent talking about cargo claims, logbooks, safety issues, driving safely, and ways to take advantage of taxes and tax write-offs while out on the road. All of my classes, even the ones that sound boring, were actually quite interesting and the people running the classes did a good job of keeping some humor about it. They understand sitting all day listening to lectures isn't the most fun thing in the world, so they did a great job keeping it at least a little fun.
Tomorrow will be my final day of orientation! Should be on the road soon!
Until next time, drive safely.