DeanOfMac's Journey

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by DeanOfMac, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. DeanOfMac

    DeanOfMac Bobtail Member

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    I start training for my second career Monday. I'll be attending a Professional Truck Driver Institute certified course at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois. The course is 8-weeks long. First week is orientation and physicals, testing, etc. Weeks 2 thru 5 are two class days and two driving days per week. Weeks 6 thru 8 are driving four days a week. Classes run Monday thru Thursday. I served six years in the USMC, went to college for six years, and spent 21 years in IT at the same college I graduated from. I bought my military time thru a state retirement system and retired at 55. Time to move on to something different. I thought about staying retired, but decided to work after my son expressed a desire to attend Stanford for college. :). Companies near me are Sharkey, Dot Transportation, Hiel, and Don Hummer. Looking forward to the conversations!
     
  2. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    Welcome to TTR. Keep us posted on your progress. Also, your impressions of driving school will help others decide on a course of action.
     
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  3. Coffey

    Coffey Light Load Member

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    Good luck and have you look into the different type of trailer there are (flat van tanker etc)
     
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  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Hiel looks good; have you contacted the company?
     
  5. TruckerJimbo

    TruckerJimbo Medium Load Member

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    DOT is a good company, and family owned. I have heard good things from their drivers. I was told they expect the driver to unload all the time, but that will help keep you fit. Not sure where they are on pay though...but in my opinion it would be a good company to at least talk to.
     
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  6. DeanOfMac

    DeanOfMac Bobtail Member

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    First day in the books! Seemed like a standard orientation day - rules, regulations, student conduct, etc. Received my books - Rand McNally Motor Carrier Road Atlas, two paper log books, and a copy of the current FMCSA Safety Regs and a Tractor Tractor Driving Training Manual. Paper Log Books - we will be keeping track of our in-cab time, miles, etc. No ELD's in the college's trucks.

    Since I already have my CLP and Medical Card I get Wednesday off. Thursday morning we will learn about the trucks we will be driving and preparing to "take over the town." No trailers, just basic maneuvering until next week. For those who never operated a manual transmission they will get extra attention. Good thing there are diesel mechanic students nearby - someone has to get the metal shavings out of the gear boxes. ;-)
     
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  7. DeanOfMac

    DeanOfMac Bobtail Member

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    Day 2 in the books! Today was a class day full of CDL knowledge and basic operating procedures. The school had a mockup of an airbrake system mounted to a large wooden panel connected to the building's air compressor. Very cool to see the system operate up close. (I forgot to take a photo but I will...). It looks we will all get our own truck for the range time and share a truck with another student and instructor for the road. Also took my "wiz quiz" today. You veterans know what I'm talking about. The good ole urinalysis.

    The instructor is gathering at least 8, possibly 10, local regional-operating carriers to visit. With a 98.5% placement rate the odds are good. That's a good rate for West Central Illinois. The megas will be there also - Schneider, Crete, JB Hunt, etc. I'm hopeful for Dot Transportation and Don Hummer. Regional runs, very good home time, newer equipment.

    More tomorrow...
     
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  8. DeanOfMac

    DeanOfMac Bobtail Member

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    Week #1 in the books. Some of us had our DOT physical and CLP in hand so all we had to do was the urinalysis. The good ole "wiz quiz." Started reading the course book, "Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Manual" by J.J. Keller. Due to our course being PTDI certified we have to do specific studying on topics such as communication, the Smith System, health, etc. One of the instructors performed a slow but thorough pre-trip inspection of one of the Macks we will be using to test. A Mack Vision with a MP-8 and a 10 speed Eaton-Fuller transmission. We actually have to pass the school's pre-trip and driving test before we go test with the state. The school's pre-trip is more comprehensive than the state test.

    No class tomorrow. Off to the driving range Tuesday.
     
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  9. DeanOfMac

    DeanOfMac Bobtail Member

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    Week #2 in the books! Lots of driving and learning FMCSA regs this week. We started out with 10 students and now we are at 6. Since Illinois is new to legal weed usage, one student decided to partake in the magical smoke two weeks before class started. Guess who didn't pass the urinalysis?? One never showed up, two disappeared after week one not to be heard from again. We now have four instructors and 6 students. Lots of time behind the wheel the last five weeks. We could get 200 hours behind the wheel.

    Recruiters from the regional carriers start coming in next week. The director said there are more positions open than he has students. I'll take those odds. We have Dot Foods Transportation, Sharkey, Gully, Sisbro, Thompson Inc. (flatbed for Knapheide and many others), and a few more. A few select mega carriers will be coming in also (Schneider for sure). I ranked my carrier preference with the director and he agreed with my choices. Unless I really screw-up royally I should get my choice. And no, I won't list them here. They may be watching...
     
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  10. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

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