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  #11  
Old 06-06-2007, 05:52 AM
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What's up with all these rookie drivers posting on here?


You should listen to us old hands!
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2007, 06:01 AM
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What this Board needs is more ARMY Vets!!! 8)
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2007, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokeeater
What this Board needs is more ARMY Vets!!! 8)
Oh, they're here alright. It's just during the week they are keeping their left door shut and their nose into the wind...not sitting in the truckstops mooching off the free wifi!
22 years Army (Ret)
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2007, 12:08 AM
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Forget ARMY............USMC RULES!!!!!
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  #15  
Old 06-07-2007, 12:41 AM
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Day 3 of CDL School 6/6/07:
We didn’t do a whole lot today. We had one recruiter from a food company come in and although I have heard of them before, I never did any research on them and therefore could not tell if anything they were telling us was B.S. or not. I was very intrigued with the pay and benefits they offered (the pay is cpm and “x” amount per 100lbs of freight). If my desire was to be a local driver with some occasional OTR trips and to fingerprint every load, I might look further at them.

Anyways, we went over vehicle inspections today; pre-trip, enroute, and post-trip. As usual, we tested on it afterwards. When reading about the inspections, it seems very overwhelming. There is SO much to remember. I was worried that I was going to bomb the subject. Not sure how I pulled it off, but I only missed one question (again it was a dumb mistake as I misread the question). As I mentioned before, most of these tests are designed to prepare us for our actual written and driving tests with the DPS office. This one in particular is to prepare us for that as well as something that we will be using on a daily basis. Even though I passed the test at the school house, I just did not feel confident that I knew it well enough to pass the DPS test OR to perform these inspections in the real world. Only time will tell.

After the test, we went out to one of the tractor-trailers and the instructor walked us through a pre-trip inspection. Like a bolt of lighting hitting me, everything came together. The inspection is NOT nearly as confusing as it seems when you read about it. 99% of it is common sense. You are looking for ANYTHING that may be loose, broken, missing, worn, cracked, etc….in general, anything “unusual”.

Afterwards, they released us for the day to go to the DPS office and at a bare minimum, take and hopefully pass our CDL permit test. As I mentioned before, I intend to take all the tests at once so that I do not have to worry about them later. So I get the DPS and expect long lines and wait times as usual. Well I was pleasantly surprised to find that that was not the case today. I tell the lady at the counter that I need to take the CDL permit test and that while I am there, I would like to go ahead and take the air brakes, general knowledge, combinations, and pre-trip inspections (all required for a Class “A” CDL) as well as the hazmat endorsement. She says, “No problem, but you will not be able to take the Hazmat unless you have your birth certificate with you”, which of course I did not. So I will have to take that test at another time. I did add the taker test just because here in Texas, when you take the test the first time like I was, you can take all the endorsements at the same time for no additional charge. Any endorsement thereafter is an extra $10 (except the hazmat which I believe was $80 because of the finger printing and background check).

So I sit at the computer ready to take a total of 6 tests. I feel confident in what I know with the exception of the pre-trip. When all was said and done, I passed ALL the tests except for one…….yep, the most important on of all, the one for the permit, I bombed it!! I was, and still am as I type this, extremely livid with myself. What really pisses me off about the exam is that all the questions I missed were, in my mind, ridiculous. Questions about what the speed limit for a certain vehicle is for certain highways/roads during either daytime or nighttime. My thoughts are that I will drive NO MORE that the posted speed limit or what is a safe speed dependant on traffic, weather, etc. But that was not a choice. For those of you that will take the test in Texas, look at section 14, page 14-16 of the Texas CDL handbook and look at the “table’ listed on the right side and you’ll see what I mean. I now have to re-take that freaking little test again no sooner than tomorrow. Boy I am pissed at myself!!!!! :evil:

Oh, and by the way, the vehicle inspect test that I was so worried about……I scored a 100% (go figure).
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  #16  
Old 06-07-2007, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman932003
Forget ARMY............USMC RULES!!!!!
Well I guess the sailors do need someone to dance with :lol: JK fireman932003.All branches of the service have my respect. I am former 82nd Airborne myself. "Give em hell boys !!!"
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  #17  
Old 06-08-2007, 12:50 AM
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Day 4 of CDL School 6/7/07:
Today started off with a recruiter visit. I have not mentioned this before, but I already have a company that I will be signing on with. I will let everyone know later on down the road who they are. Anyways, even if I did not have a company in mind, this particular company would not even be on my list of prospects. So I sit there and half listen to what this recruiter has to say and I am absolutely amazed at how well they “sell” their company. I definitely can see how someone that did not do any research could be lured into the promises of cookies and cream and that big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This again echo’s what the pro’s out there have been saying all along…..”Do your research BEFORE you sign on the dotted line”.

After the recruiter left we jumped right into the curriculum. Today we went over HOS, Logbooks, and Trip Planning, testing as usual after each topic. These topics, especially the HOS, can get somewhat confusing. I managed to “ace” each exam and believe it or not, I think it was due to the fact that I had some exposure to them here on CAD. Although the exposure I had on the forum did not make much sense to me at the time, it all started to come together and “click” in class and ultimately helped me understand it easier and quicker. So for that, I want to thank “Rev, Dawn, and many others” for the endless pages of discussions on Logbooks and the HOS.

There was one question on our HOS test that sparked some debate. I can not remember the exact wording, but the gist of the question was…. “A driver can be on line 4 after his/her 70/8 was up”. The choices were “true or false”. Everyone answered “false” except one student. I won’t go into the logic that the student had, but we ended up debating what the correct answer was until the instructor decided that we beat the crap out of a dead horse. The unfortunate thing is that I think the one student still believes he is correct.

Well tomorrow I am off to the DPS office first thing in the morning to re-take that dang little permit test again and to knock out the hazmat endorsement. Got to hit the books and study so wish me luck!
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  #18  
Old 06-08-2007, 02:55 AM
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Awesome thread! I normally don't like reading long threads such as this, but I'm actually enjoying it.

I finished my CDL training about 2 weeks ago, and I'm currently waiting for Swift to find me a friggin' mentor so I can't start my 2nd phase of training which is OTR driving for 6 weeks with a mentor before I'm sent out on solo runs.

I'm looking forward to reading your next entry!

Good luck!
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  #19  
Old 06-08-2007, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlos64030
Awesome thread! I normally don't like reading long threads such as this, but I'm actually enjoying it.

I finished my CDL training about 2 weeks ago, and I'm currently waiting for Swift to find me a friggin' mentor so I can't start my 2nd phase of training which is OTR driving for 6 weeks with a mentor before I'm sent out on solo runs.

I'm looking forward to reading your next entry!

Good luck!
Thanks.....I am glad you are enjoying it. Best of luck to you with Swift, keep us posted on how things go.
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2007, 12:41 AM
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Day 5 of CDL School 6/8/07:
Well I went to the DPS office to re-take my CDL permit test today. I attempted to study last night but it was to no avail. I just could not concentrate for the life of me. That alone was pissing me off to say the least. I think it was because I was still stewing over the failure of it the first time. I guess you could call me a “perfectionist” and therefore I tend to be really hard on myself when things are not right.

Anyways, the DPS office does not open until 8am so I decided I would show up early (7am) in the hopes that I could study and retain the information without any distractions. At 8am sharp (surprisingly) they open the doors. I go in and sit down at the computer with all my fingers and toes crossed. 15 or so minutes later, the screen shows that I passed with a score of 100%.....Whew!!!! I decided while I was there, I might at well knock out Doubles & Triples as well as the Hazmat endorsements. I aced the D/T but was unable to take the Hazmat test as I was missing one required document. Boy they want everything short of a DNA sample for that test. So to sum it up, I currently have all my CDL Class “A” written exams along with all the endorsements with the exception of the Hazmat and passenger complete.

While at the DPS office, a recruiter showed up at the school. Again, it was not a company that I have any interest in what so ever, so it was not a loss to me. One thing that is funny, every recruiter gives us some sort of “company paraphernalia” as I call it. Things like key chains, sticky pads, little rulers and pens. Needless to say, I should have enough of those to last my entire trucking career.

We used the rest of the morning to go over some more HOS & Logbook training as well as the Pre-Trip planning. After lunch we went out to one of the tractors and covered control systems/familiarity of the console. Then back to the classroom for a presentation and of course a test on the subject. They also covered some other miscellaneous things such as how to fill out an application, interviews, etc. The last thing we covered was the engine brake system. What it does and how it works. I already knew what it does, but really had no clue how it does what it does. I found the entire topic very interesting. Tomorrow we are scheduled to go over shifting and backing and I am actually looking forward to it.
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