ATS/school

Discussion in 'Anderson' started by pathfinder, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    I will be starting school on Oct 1, then going on to ATS out of St. Cloud MN. After reading what feels like every thread, I decided to get my own schooling and deal with reimbursement etc. on my own. Seems to be the general concensus from all of you veteran drivers. And I must admit that most of the horror stories seem to come from a co. paid training program. I have been pre-hired by ATS and will begin training on Fridays( school M-Th). I'll try to keep you informed about how its going since there's little infoon them here. If you have any questions let me know and I'll see if I can answer them.
     
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    This will have to start out with school info. then ATS since I have school M-Th, ATS training on Fridays. Sorry if it gets redundant. The first two days of school were all lecture etc., nothing really new from the permit tests but probably necessary. Today we had our first behind the wheel. All I can say is why do you pros make it look so #### easy?! It didn't help that my truck had a "fill in" teacher. He definetly new his stuff, however he was not very patient and had a hard time explaining double clutching to one of the guys who was really having trouble. It made for a VERY stressfull morning! And we hadn't even left the range yet! By the end of the day I was doing ok, up-shifting came easy(no surprise right?), but that down shifting by double clutching kicked my ### for a while. I am trying to keep my spirits up by realizing it will only get easier with time, and if I can get the hang of a fussy Eaton-Fuller 13, the rest should go well. I'll have more info on ATS after Friday. They do have a lot of nice new trucks at the range/shop. Maybe one is mine?LOL. I know, Iknow, dream on! As long as it's a LITTLE better than our range truck i'll be happy.
     
  4. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    Thursday was our last day of class for the school. Everyone came back for another day so that was good. My group had a different instructor today(thank God!), he was one of the regular instructors and was very laid back. He put everyone at ease and really made things much easier to learn. Everyone did a better job today and we all left feeling as if we could actually join the ranks of pros someday. With much work and even more practice of course! I did lose my chance to claim to be a "super trucker" though. I came to a set of tracks with a stop sign after, say 30', then the highway. No problem, I stopped before the tracks, waited for an opening of the proper size on the highway, then proceded to pull out. So far so good. Instructor was pleased etc. with my technique.( the video of train/truck crashes made us all cautious). Only problem was I failed to check what gear I was in and killed the truck! Go ahead and laugh, I did! I think I handled it ok though, quickly put on the flashers and got over to the shoulder, started up and went on. Very humbling. But a good lesson learned the hard way.
    Friday was my first day of ATS training. The morning was spent filling out a bunch of new hire paper work etc., then back out to the range. It is only me and one other guy, and we're in school togehter so it was nice. The ATS trainer is one of the instructors from school so again nice. We spent the day driving all over the place. Mostly country roads, small towns with some short hops on the highway or freeway. My last leg the trainer must have liked my clutching because I got the winding hilly country road for about 45 min.. Lots of work shifting and controlling speed through curves etc.. I did well if I do say so myself. No, not perfect, but considering this was only my third time behind the wheel, I was satisfied. For today. Much left to learn! Monday my group is back in class, so I won't write until I have more "exciting" info for you all! Havea great weakend and be safe.
     
  5. nerok9

    nerok9 Light Load Member

    98
    6
    Jun 21, 2007
    0
    Hey Pathfinder, My brother in law drove for them and loved the company. My question to you is, has ATS started their own CDL school? If so my plans might change.
     
  6. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    Nerok, thanks for the info from your brother-in-law. Its always good to get outside info and input. Makes me even more confident in my choice. As to your question, no ATS hasn't actually started their own school. They are very tight with St. Cloud Technical College. The shool uses ATS trucks and trailers and the ATS range for the first days of driving and for backing manuevers etc.. ATS will tell you (or at least told me and the other student going to ATS) that they prefer you use SCTC because they know the program and get to know you. ATS does get the added value of being able to recruit heavily from the school also. They are even 1/2 of one of the brochures the school sends to prospective students. So far I would recomend both for school/training. As of now no-one at school who isn't already signed with ATS has said that they are/were presured in any way to go with ATS. Not from instructors or anyone at the school, not even the mechanics at the shop on the range. So while they are very closely knit to each other, a mutually beneficial arangement if you will, no pressure. Hope this helps with your decision. By the way, why did your brother-in-law leave ATS?
     
  7. kitering

    kitering Bobtail Member

    31
    0
    Oct 8, 2007
    Forest City, NC
    0
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. You're right in the long run to avoid many company schools.
     
  8. nerok9

    nerok9 Light Load Member

    98
    6
    Jun 21, 2007
    0

    Hey Pathfinder, He left because he found a OTR company next to his house with an open truck. It would allow him to be home every weekend and still make good money. He's running reffer from Cali to Midwest and back to Cali.

    Nero
     
  9. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    Ok, two more days of classroom down and most importantly, two more days of driving under my belt. Tuesday I drew the lucky straw and had a truck and instructor for myself all day. There was an odd number of students that day and I got lucky. The day was pretty good. I did a lot better on some things, and found a few still lacking. But thats what training is for right? All in all a pretty good day, some small towns, and country roads, hills etc.. Now today all I can say is WOW! Me and the other guy going to ATS went out together with Yvonne, I guess she is the "'head" instructor. And she is awesome!! She has 33 yrs experience and a great way of teaching. She put us through some really tough spots. Sharp corners, tight curves, one way streets, railroad crossings, small towns, no truck streets(no, she didn't make us drive them, but get used to seeing the signs). What I liked most was that she would put us in a cituation, see how we would do, help us when needed, then explain what she would have done or what else we could try, then have us go back and try it again to SEE what she meant. All in all the best day of instruction so far. Tomorrow we are back to ATS corporate for the morning, then back out on the road. I gotta tell ya, this orientation while in school is really helping to build my confidence. And realize just how much I will still need to learn AFTER school and training. There is sooooo much more to this than just driving. As if thats not enough! A mapping program is a must!
    Right turns are still hard to get used to. Well not the turns but actually having to have faith in the motoring public to pay attention, stay back etc., I know, be assertive, not aggressive, take control and make the turn.
    Nerok, thanks for the info, hard to argue with a gig like that! I'd take it too!
    Have a good weekend all!
     
  10. nerok9

    nerok9 Light Load Member

    98
    6
    Jun 21, 2007
    0
    Hey Pathfinder, How long is the course your going thru. When i rode with my brother in law i really liked the way ATS ran. Im in the military in fact right now im in iraq. As of right now im going with Roehl because of their Honor Program for military. They train you for free, with no manadotory time to spend with them after CDL school. And their apprentice program where you make salary fro the first 2 years. But when i go o/o (only after i have been a company drive for a while to learn the business), i am looking at ATS as a o/o. Good luck in your school and thanks for the post.

    nero
     
  11. pathfinder

    pathfinder Medium Load Member

    410
    617
    Aug 25, 2007
    central,MN
    0
    Nerok, First off thanks for your service! One guy in my class at SCTC is just back as well as a good friends brother. Stay as safe as you can! As for course length, school is 6 weeks. ATS orientation is 6 days, done on Fridays. This is IF you go through SCTC. I just found out this week, when the ATS recruiter came to school, that if you don't go this route you get oto go to Gary, IN for a week. There is also a two day procurement class after that. I'm not sure if that would be done in Gary or not. Mine will be out at "west". That's what ATS calls their maintenance shop(s). I can't tell you a thing about the Gary facilities at this time, but if I get there during my time with a trainer, I'll let you know. As far as your going with Roehl, it sure sounds like a great company and a great program. Hard to pass up free!! If you haven't already, check them out on this site. Lots of good info.. I had looked into them as well, but ATS was closer to home and frankly, they offered the job first and I am getting desperate for an income! Not a good thing when looking for a new career. But the more I have looked into them and talked to some of the drivers I've seen around town, they seem like a good fit for me to start at. I need experience, and I have to start somewhere! As to your desire to go O/O, ATS is supposed to have a very safe lease program, that you can turn into owning. This info. comes from one of my school instructors, who is not connected to ATS. I guess if you get into trouble,ie aren't making it work, you can get out and go back to being a co. driver and not have it hurt your credit etc. Sounds good, but many experienced people here will tell you to stay away from any and all leases. I don't know enough yet to speak either way. But your brother in law probably could shed a lot of light for you.
     
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted