Last night was my first night and it was interesting. Before I ramble below is an email that was sent out on the course.
The first night was interesting but uneventful. It was interesting in the fact that it was very disorganized by Marine Corps/Military standards. I assume that this is something that I'll need to become accustomed too when I transition to civilian life.
There was also a ton of paperwork. I must have spent 70% of my time filling out questionnaires, legal notices of understanding, etc. I also noted that I'll have to front roughly $150 bucks to cover all of my endorsement testing fees and the TSA background fees.
We watched a motivational film on trucking made by "Modern Marvels" where they show the largest truck stop in the world and custom sleepers by ARI.
The instructor lead a couple of guided discussions on topics ranging from record keeping to Lot Lizards.
Troops 2 Truckers, Camp Pendleton Oct 09
Yesterdays class was long because a Warner recruiter came by to throw us his sales pitch. So we didn't start class until after he was finished. The below are bullets from his brief.
-They are not hiring OTR, only East & West regional drivers. Exception is flatbed.
-You need a HazMat endorsement & passport to obtain a job with them.
-All of their trucks will receive APU units if they don't already have them.
-They only use Qualcom electronic logbooks.
-All drivers receive electronic toll road devices to cover toll road expenses.
-Before one receives their own truck they must complete 350 hours of paid Warner training, e.g. riding with a trainer.
-They advertise 100% no touch freight.
-They offer 80/20 Medical/Dental/Eye coverage.
-You're paid using direct deposit every Thursday.
-You can become a trainer after 6 months and earn $75-100k a year.
-Their safety bonus incentive is a custom made chopper.
-They are paid using a sliding scale. Average is 26cpm for OTR and 30cpm regional.
Class time consisted of studying how a logbook works and legal hours of service in relation to the 60/7, 70/8, 100mi, & 150mi, etc.
I forgot to add that I took the urinalysis and physical yesterday. The DMV physical consisted of a sight, hearing and dexterity test. The sight test was the usual, read these letters with your left eye and then your right. They also waved things to the flanks of your head to judge your peripheral vision. The dexterity test had one touching their toes, pushing back against the doctor with their arms and hands, touching your nose and then the Doctors finger...it was almost like doing a field sobriety test. The last portion was a hernia test which is pretty self explanatory.
Some interesting knowledge that I didn't know before going to this class is that after one receives their Class A they are now considered a professional driver. What that means is that they at no time while operating any vehicle be it personal or commercial can they have a BAC of .04 or higher. Anything above that they are considered a DUI. Another interesting note is that all traffic fines are doubled and traffic school is no longer available or an option, regardless of what you were driving/operating.
Last night we were oriented with the trucks and practiced ingress and egress. We also glazed over hitching doubles and triples. Class room time consisted of road safety which included stopping distance in relation to speed, driving over/in rain, bridges, ice and snow.
Last Friday we learned about the brake system in a truck. It was very involved and I thought my brain was going to explode. We discussed the different systems in a classroom using a diagram which helped to confuse us even further. I'm looking forward to getting some "hands on" time with the trucks so I can but a visual picture to the topic of discussion.
Monday and Tuesday we reviewed the DMV permit test. There isn't much to it except that you have to be aware of the tricky wording that they use in the questions.
Wednesday and Thursday we watched a few nauseating videos on HazMat. It is interesting stuff but the videos could use a lot of work in keeping ones interest...I was ready to shoot myself.
Call Me Tom: Thanks for the info. I retired from Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (SEAL) 13 years ago, and I still haven't gotten used to the way many civilians approach "work." My son is a SGT with Uncle Sam's Misguided Children and was talking about getting out of the Corps, until he had a good luck at the economy. Best of Luck! Scott