A Couple's Journey With CFI

Discussion in 'CFI' started by Tierael, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Tierael

    Tierael Bobtail Member

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    Thank you for the well wishes. We had to postpone our testing until tomorrow. My fiance needed an extra day to ensure she had the material down pat. They haven't told us where they plan on sending us yet though. I hope they will send us to Crowder in Missouri, as I have heard great things about it. Hopefully after we pass our tests tomorrow our recruiter will divulge that information. We just hope they pick up when we call, they have been a little hard to reach at times.
     
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  3. Tierael

    Tierael Bobtail Member

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    UPDATE: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
    I managed to successfully pass my Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) tests today. I took all three tests in succession. My research led me a little astray, in regards to how the tests would be conducted. I thought I would be asked by the system if I wanted to take the next test or not. I had banked on this being an option, incase I felt I needed to leave the DMV to study between each test for the next one. I later learned after taking my tests, because I asked for my fiance, if I could take the tests in a more segmented manner. The answer was that I could have, but I would have had to request it beforehand.

    Otherwise the tests weren't difficult, I had a few curveball questions which drove me insane. One of which was due to my idiocy in blatantly skipping two pages in the manual, regarding railroad crossings. I missed a question relating to what a sign warning of a crossing was, which I had entirely glossed over that page. Aside from that, I was rather well prepared thanks to the numerous practice tests I had been taking leading up to my exams. A majority of the questions I had been practicing over showed up on the exams. About 70% of the questions on the General Knowledge Test, were ones I was expecting. The Combination Vehicles and Air Brakes Tests however had 90% of the questions I had been expecting. It was extremely beneficial to me that I was rather familiar with the material and I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.

    We had lunch before heading into the DMV and relaxed to give my fiance more time to cram before testing. We ultimately decided to have me go in first so I could go through the process and tell her what to expect. I am super glad I did, as I said, I didn't know about having to request the tests to be taken separately beforehand. I was able to provide my fiance with valuable intel as to how the tests were conducted so that she can go in completely prepared. Skipping questions proved to be extremely handy so I could knock out stuff I was 100% on and likely led to my success. Also another feature I was not expecting, was that they had a handset attached to the computer, so that the questions and answers could be read to you. This dictation feature was probably the most important to me in regards to my fiance. I find that if she is able to have someone read her that stuff, it helps her comprehension of the question.

    I mentioned earlier that my research regarding on how the exams would be conducted, led me astray. While my first point was valid, it was not the key thing that threw me off for those exams. I was led to believe that the exam would immediately conclude, once I answered enough questions correctly. So I went in counting on this 80% passing point freeing me from answering additional questions. This is largely what contributed to my lower score on the General Knowledge Test. After finding out I had to answer all 50 questions I began to let my anxiety get the best of me, and likely rushed myself too much, or second guessed myself more than necessary. I did overcome this upon going on to the Combination Vehicles and Air Brakes tests however and scored nearly perfect on both. I believe I aced the Combination Vehicles but I can't remember. Regardless I regained my confidence and flew through the remaining two tests.

    While I was taking my exams, my fiance was cramming in the car. She was still shaky on her Air Brakes knowledge, and did not feel confident about her chances of passing that particular test. The plan was that once I finished and returned to her in the car, she would go in and take her exams, if she felt confident. Apparently this didn't work out, because she didn't have enough time by the time I finished. We figured out that I was only in the DMV for 30 minutes, at least. To my credit, one of my bragging points I make to others is that I am an excellent tester. During my tenure in Middle/Highschool I made a game out of beating tests. I was lazy but I usually had the highest test scores in the class. A good mix of my success was because tests weren't well designed and that I listened thoroughly to my lectures. I just never felt like doing homework. When I look back at it, it was a mistake to act like that, but I was young and stupid so I let it go.

    Anyway, so I successfully have obtained my CLP now. My fiance and I decided to push her test date back till no later than Thursday, April 25, 2019. We have a prior engagement that day which will bring us into town anyway. So the plan is once we finish that, we will head on over to the DMV for her to test. We believe this will give her plenty of time to study the material to ensure she is ready. As I believe the penalty for her failing is that she must wait a week before she can re-test. We are playing it by ear though, we may go in Wednesday if she feels confident in her General Knowledge and Combination Vehicles. She has stated that she already feels like she is prepared for those two exams, and will be studying some more tonight to make sure it is fresh in her mind.

    If things go well she will take her General Knowledge and Combination Vehicles exams Wednesday, April 24, 2019, and then we will return Thursday, April 25, 2019, for her Air Brakes exam.

    I apologize for the long posts as normal, however I just want to ensure there are detailed accounts of our experience. In case there is someone else like me, scanning these forums for helpful information.

    Lastly, there was one question I missed on the Air Brakes exam that I felt I missed unfairly. I was asked for the Air Pressure at which Spring/Emergency Brakes will engage. The manual tells me this is anywhere from 20-45 PSI however that answer was marked incorrect. The answer was 5-30 PSI, is there something I am missing?
     
  4. RoadRooster

    RoadRooster Road Train Member

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    Don't know about that brake question unless I see exact wording of the question...don't sweat it...it will allake sense once you learn the pre trip brake tests...tell Mama to get her poop in a group...no delays, no excuses!
     
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  5. Cerberus XVI

    Cerberus XVI Heavy Load Member

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    So I can answer a few of your concerns based on my wife and I's experience with the training process. And let me start by saying, CFI loves its teams and will bend over backwards for you.

    So starting with schooling we were told we would be going to Crowder College. While we were on the greyhound bus however, about an hour or so away from Joplin, we get a phone call from truck dynasty saying that we were signed up for classes there in springfield, mo. So right away red flags went up, we tried for a few hours of trying to get a hold of our recruiter, and finally after a few hours of trying and about an hour of sitting up at the greyhound bus station in joplin we got it sorted out. There wasnt any space for us at crowder college without splitting my wife and i up in male and female dorm rooms. SO the recruiter made the call for us that she said she believed we would have made and they set us up with Truck Dynasty in Springfield, Mo. So they set us up with a hotel room and some cash every week for food. Not a super bad experience. But not fun either.
    I passed my CDL testing the first time, but my wife failed twice unfortunately. She is a great driver, problem is she is a horrible tester! So i passed my test on a tuesday, and CFI told us that she could start the orientation class with me that following monday if she could pass by tuesday. Well after a horrible chain of events at Truck Dynasty they screwed my wife out of her testing slot and gave it to someone else who they wanted out of there school asap. So my wife wasnt able to test. We werent happy with this at all, but after coming to terms with it i left on the greyhound to joplin for orientation that saturday night. and CFI said my wife would have to wait until the week after to go into orientation. After talking to our recruiter however, they said if she could pass by Tues.that they would stick her in my orientation class and speed her through the process so we could be together. (Did i mention CFI loves their teams).
    So she passes and joins my orientation group and all is well. Here is where things started to get sticky. Or so we thought at the time,

    Like you, my wife and I wanted to spend the bare minimum amount of time apart! We are used to being together every single moment of every single day. Thats just the relationship we have, which is why we felt we would do good in teaming in the first place.

    Anywho! getting side tracked, after your 4 day orientation, you can either A. go on the list for trainers right away. Or B. Go home for..um..5-7days. i dont quite remember.

    So if you choose to go on the list with a trainer right away if there is one available then they will send you out asap. If not they send you home to wait. Well we were told that it could be two weeks or more for my wife to find a trainer. There arent many female trainers out there. So knowing this info she decided that she didnt care if her trainer smoked or not because finding a nonsmoking trainer may have taken even longer. and i chose to take my voluntary 5-7 days off so we could spend more time at home together. Well the day after my days off ended i had gotten word that my trainer was ready. After a very emotional goodbye, i rode the greyhound to joplin to go join my trainer. 5 hours after i left my wife calls me and she had gotten an email saying that her trainer was ready too! So she left the day after me, and we got to spend another 1 or 2 days together in joplin while our trainers got their stuff in order and my wife actually left before i did,they had a load going to CO and i had a load going to TX. (forgot to mention at this point my wife got a nonsmoking trainer luckily)

    the 3 wks we were out with finishers went mostly smoothly, other than my phone being ruined by water on like day 2! and it was a whole week before i made it to a walmart to get a temp. phone. Luckily my trainer was nice enough to let me call my wife every night for a half hour or so before bed. The 3wks flies by so fast, your so busy during the day between learning and driving, you dont have too much time to miss home. If you lucky like me and you get a good trainer you will make your first friend on the road. I still talk to my trainer weekly and we stopped driving almost 4 months ago..

    anywho if you have any questions feel free to PM me!
     
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  6. Tierael

    Tierael Bobtail Member

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    I can't for the life of me remember the question exactly, but it is a moot point sense I passed. I did warn my fiance about it in case she happened to get it. She did not so she didn't have to make that call. We actually went in today and she took her exams. We found out fortunately that she can come back the next day to retake an exam. My research had originally led me to believe that if she failed any of the tests, that she would have to wait a week to test again. Fortunately this was not the case, she passed her General Knowledge, and Air Brakes test. She was super mad at herself because she said she was so worried about passing her Air Brakes test that she failed her Combination Vehicles test. We have a prior engagement tomorrow to head back in town again tomorrow, so we are going to hit the DMV before our obligation and have her take the Combination Vehicles test again. She was really sore that she didn't pass all three in one go like I did. Nothing I've told her has made her feel better about that. She's thoroughly motivated to study and pass that final exam tomorrow.

    I was hoping you would stop by with some words of wisdom at some point! I have followed your threads, and responses very carefully since I found this forum. As another couple your experiences were valuable to read about, so I appreciate you sharing your take of things with the forum. Having your accounts of your time really helped in my research.

    One of our main issues so far has been it is difficult to get in touch with our recruiter. When we initially applied on Thursday, April 11, 2019 we received a call the next day on Friday, April 12, 2019. We both received a form that had be signed digitally and sent it back straight away. We called back that day as instructed but we couldn't get through. Saturday, April 13, 2019 we received a call from our recruiter so we could do our little interview thing. It was cool that she came in on a Saturday to work, to speak with us. Unfortunately due to my fiance's prior work history as a job hopper, she said we would have to check with higher ups, to see if she would be approved. We were told to expect a call back the coming Monday or Tuesday. We didn't get that call until Friday, April 19, 2019. We had called a few times during that week to check on our status, as we really hoped we could work together. We had no luck, and it kind of sucked waiting that long for her to get back to us. We had kind of wished our recruiter had checked back in with us before that point to keep us in the loop that it was still being worked. Just a little courtesy is all, but it resolved in our favor so we let that go. In the end we are just glad they were kind enough to look past our lack of stability and give us this chance, so for that we are super grateful.


    My fiance is also a good driver I think, but I don't think she is as strong as a tester as me. Her complaint during this entire process of studying for our CLP though has been that it isn't hands-on. We are both hands-on kind of learners, but I have that strong testing background to help me, she doesn't. She feels strongly that had she been able to study this information, and also see what was being involved, that she would have had a much easier time retaining it. With this fact in mind, I feel like the CDL Exams won't be too much trouble for her, due to all of the hands-on training that sounds like is involved in that process. I am glad to hear that some allowances are given for those that can't pass on the very first try. We are new to the industry completely so we had our concerns. We both have a heavy industrial background in our work history however, and I in particular have extensive forklift/warehousing experience, in addition I have some experience as a shipping/receiving dock worker. She has some equipment experience as well but it's considerably more limited than mine, however she had to pull singles/doubles/triples behind her tugger. I feel that will give a little edge over me in regards to what working with a trailer is like a little, just on a much much larger scale.

    We both have a similar stance regarding wanting to be together all of the time. We've worked several jobs together, and find we work really well as a team, as we compliment each other in a variety of ways, so I am hoping that will carry true with CFI as well.

    We will likely want to go on the list immediately. We don't really have much tying us down here, and there may some difficult logistics of having to come back. I don't want to exactly elaborate, but things are difficult to say the least, and I'm really ashamed that it got so bad. So least to say, we are both really really hoping this will help us crawl out of the hole we are in. With that in mind, we are throwing everything we have into this.

    Anyway, my fiance too has come to terms with the female finisher/trainer issue as well. She said she can deal with a smoking trainer if she has to, if it means she can start sooner. I really hope that she gets lucky, as your wife did, as my fiance is rather sensitive to the stuff, and being sick is the last thing we need at the moment. Sadly, I've been around that stuff all of my life so I have built up a little more tolerance to it, I don't like it, but if I have to tolerate, I gotta do what I gotta do.

    That sucks to hear that your phone got ruined. I hope that doesn't happen to either of us. Money is practically non-existent on our end, and I've regrettably had to lean on the excessive generosity of my family for far too long for my liking. I feel I should have lived or died on my own sword, but my family is adamant about assisting me. I sincerely hope to repay them someday so I can lift this world of guilt off of my heart because it is seriously tearing me apart whenever I think about it. It is made worse because no one in my family is well off, and even further some members of my family that have assisted us, live on a fixed income, and put themselves in a tight spot, for us. So ya, I have every motivation to make this work. I REFUSE to fail for any reason at all. We got nothing left if we can't make this work out for us. We are hoping to someday, have a home we can miss.

    I hope things go smoothly for us. The whole "CFI loves Team" mentality does give me some comfort in regards to them wanting to see us succeed. I have heard so many good things about this company from a lot of you here on Truckers Report, this is why we aimed for CFI. Like I said, we are throwing we have into this, and we want to be the very best we can be. I am very grateful for CFI giving us this chance to work for them, and we don't intend to let them down. I didn't mean anything overly negative in regards to the difficulty communication with our recruiter, I just wanted to share the experience to again hopefully benefit others who may stumble on this thread.

    I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to stop by the thread, and offer your insights. I hope all of this will someday, help someone else, who like me was in a tough spot, and was looking for a way out. Also, I appreciate your offer, and will take you up on it, if anything comes to mind. I'm always a well of questions though, so i've done my best to search for whatever answers I can find regarding anything. I will go over stuff with my fiance and try to gather some questions that we can post in this thread though. Again, thanks to everyone who is taking the time out of their busy days to post a reply to this thread. I really appreciate it, as it is all really helpful, and encouraging to hear all the well wishes.


    EDIT: Well dang, broke the forum limit there. My apologies Cerberus XVI, had to turncate your quote to fit these responses in the same post.
     
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  7. Cerberus XVI

    Cerberus XVI Heavy Load Member

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    I understand completely on all your points.
    We were sorta in the same boat. We were tired of working dead end retail jobs and wanted to travel and make money! So we decided to make the leap. When we team we make loads of money. At least compared to what we were making in retail. Our income going from retail to teaming more than quadrupled.

    I definitely understand the research part too, I looked into everything for about 4mos before we made the leap. And sadly for teams there really isn't mimu info out there and in terms of asking other drivers the majority only tell you not to team ever! So it's hard getting live advice.

    And yes it is a pain to get a hold of recruiting but they are very busy ppl so it's understandable. Luckily once you get out of school and move on to orientation you don't deal with the recruiters anymore you'll get your own orientation fleet manager! And every single one of them are rock stars!
     
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  8. keebler13579

    keebler13579 Medium Load Member

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    Nice read so far. Good luck with CFI Dont think I could team with my wife even if she wanted to. I cant stand being in this small quarters with someone else 24/7.
     
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  9. Cerberus XVI

    Cerberus XVI Heavy Load Member

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    Gotta have a special type of relationship to team that's for sure.
     
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  10. Tierael

    Tierael Bobtail Member

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    So great news! My fiance went in, and nailed her Combination Vehicles test with a perfect score. This team now holds their Commercial Learner's Permit, and 2-Year DOT Medical Cards. So we are super excited, because it gets even better. We managed to get a hold of our recruiter, and get a start date prepared! We are set to leave via the Greydog on Saturday, April 27, 2019. We will be starting training this coming Monday, April 29, 2019. We are both super excited at this good news. Unfortunately we were unable to take our drug testing before departing. We were on a crunch for time and due to our current remote residence, nothing close by could be found for us to go in on Friday. Luckily the great people at CFI parted the ocean for us, so we will be able to take our drug tests on Monday, April 29, 2019. This does concern me as we are supposed to start training that day, and I would hate for anything to get in the way of that. We are both really clean, but I gotta let you all in on a secret.

    When I got groceries this past Saturday, I got some Everything Bagels and Onion&Chives Cream Cheese. My weakness was that I was craving them, and coupled with my lackluster memory to the ill effects that poppy seeds may have on drug screenings. I swear I am clean, at least of illegal substances, not sugar though. :Insert Joke about Sugar being as addictive as crack or something: Seriously though we are both clean, but I forgot about the whole poppy seed thing. I only had two, and there isn't as much on there as would be a pure poppy seed bagel, but I just don't want to have any hassles that would take away valuable training time. I'm kinda high-strung at the moment, because this is a little rushed, but we wanted to get started as soon as possible. We have a lot of packing to do, both for the school, and for our storage unit as we are practically moving out of here, with no plans to return. We do want to return to our storage unit, as there will be things in there that we will want on our truck though when we are assigned one.

    Anyway, sorry for that sidebar. We are going to Perrysburg, OH so @kingodawg's thread became even more valuable to me. I'm glad he posted that so I can get an idea of what's going to happen with the whole process.

    Things really suck for us, and they have for awhile. I am finally ready to start being able to climb out of this debt hole we are in. Plus it would be kind of nice to travel the country and all. I told my fiance that we have to give this a fair shake of at least a year to determine if we really like it or not. I may end up liking it more than anticipated, and stay with it beyond our need to get out of debt, who knows. I know that I am super grateful to everyone involved in this, from my family who helped out, to you people here on the forums with your words of wisdom. Also I'm grateful to CFI for giving us this chance, and I plan to do my best as a driver for them.

    We were able to get a hold of our recruiter today, but it took us calling a couple times so I think that's what we need to do. I am really glad to hear that about the fleet managers though, as they will ultimately be who we deal with for our time at CFI.


    I agree with Cerberus, it definitely takes a special kind of couple. Again it works for us because we've worked together before. We've learned that we compliment each other really well when we work together as a team in anything we do. Plus we really enjoy each other's time, and get very lonely without each other. I guess it is a result that we don't have many friends because we have trouble with that whole aspect of our lives.
     
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  11. Cerberus XVI

    Cerberus XVI Heavy Load Member

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    Glad to hear your on your way! Definitely a good feeling when you get through all the stressful parts.

    Just a heads up, Im not sure how the school in Ohio is, but from here on out it's almost like a scouting match. Teachers at the school, people at CFI are going to be watching how you and your spouse work together. In school especially for us they watched us like a hawk. And luckily we have that good relationship where we make each other stronger and work together well. We got compliments on how well worked together which let me know they were watching us.
     
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