Made the Leap...In Training!

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Zuma, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Zuma

    Zuma Light Load Member

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    Well, after debating back and forth whether to do this thing, I'm doing it. Today was my first day at my local community college. This week is cramming for the permit tests, which we'll most likely take by next Monday. Then it's off to the range to start PTI, backing, and eventually out on the road.

    One nice thing is that our instructor will also be our tester, so he knows exactly what he's looking for on the test, and will hammer it into our brains. He's been very emphatic...he's going to teach us what we need to get our licenses. If everyone moves along at a good clip, he'll see what he can teach us about some of the fine points. He's encouraging everyone to get all of the endorsements (other than school bus and passenger), as he says those applications go to the top of the heap; whether or not they're part of the job going in, companies like to see them.

    It's a looooong course, four days a week from now through the end of April, but such is life at the low-cost local community college. It's OK with me, as I don't have anything else important going on right now anyway.

    I asked a lot of questions about jobs; he says it was really slow with a lot of guys out of work for a while but it's picking up. From his last class, he had guys go off to a local propane company, a local LTL outfit, and some off the the mega-carriers. He says everyone who wants a job has found one of some sort.

    After I get my license, I plan to scrounge around for local work. I'm really not dead set on any one thing, so I'll take my time and see what shakes out. About the only thing I've ruled out is OTR with a mega-carrier. Of course I know that may affect my ability to get experience that would open up other jobs, but such is life. I'd rather go drive a class C vehicle delivering medical oxygen or welding gas and go home at night than feed myself into the mega-mill. If this dog doesn't hunt, I'm on to the next thing, whatever it may be.

    So anyway, I'm kind of excited to see how it all plays out!
     
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  3. Saddle Tramp

    Saddle Tramp Medium Load Member

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    good luck in your new adventure, some of the students you'll bond with, some you won't. Just study hard, do the best that you can & practice,practice,practice.
     
  4. Jonny1

    Jonny1 Medium Load Member

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    Good luck! Yes its a long course, but your skills will be much better then the average student. I think these 15 days schools should be outlawed, they set the average student up for failing. You will have a huge advantage, as you will know how to drive when you get with your trainer an then you can spend time focusing on the hard parts of the job.........instead of learning to shift & back.
     
  5. Gears

    Gears Trucker Forum STAFF - Gone, But Not Forgotten.

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    Sounds like a great course. Don't just do enough to get by, do as much as you can to learn and practice as much as possible. That's how you EARN your CDL, not just get it as a result of taking classes. Make sense? The more you do now, the better prepared you'll be for any future employment. Bust your hump and graduate at the top of your class. Employers like seeing that stuff!
     
  6. Zuma

    Zuma Light Load Member

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    Dec 26, 2010
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    That's my plan! I did a lot of studying before class started, and it's paying off, as I'm already pretty well familiar with the material. Right now I think I'm in good shape for my permit test at the end of the week.

    I run a couple of big straight trucks at my ranch, so I know something about the mechanicals, and have some experience in backing with some good-sized trailers as well. I figure that'll help me get a quick start too.

    Our instructor is really a good, down-to-earth guy, and most of my classmates seem pretty solid, so I think we're going to work well together and get a lot done.
     
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  7. Zuma

    Zuma Light Load Member

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    I went to the DMV this morning, tested for CDL A, combinations, air brakes, doubles/triples, tankers, hazmat...passed all on the first go-round.

    So, next week we move to the hands-on, PTI, backing in the yard, etc. etc.

    Unfortunately for the naysayers here, I've not been deterred from my quest to obtain a LOCAL JOB. Somthing that doesn't involve peeing in a bottle and pooping into a plastic bag in my truck. I actually spent some time today talking with an actual truck driver, next to his truck. I know it's not quite the same thing as getting an opinion from an Internet driver, but I'm working with what I have. Fortunately, my history doesn't include any felonies, DUIs, drug test failures or traffic offenses, but maybe that will be held against me.

    I'm actually feeling pretty good about my deal, in spite of all the negativity here...there's a lot of really good information, if you can read between the lines.
     
  8. Lady K

    Lady K Road Train Member

    I don't think anyone here says its impossible - just not easy. Good luck to you - it sounds like you've made a good start :D
     
  9. kanidana

    kanidana Heavy Load Member

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    Not to be the jaded individual that I am, but that's a very ambiguous statement. It could be applied to many areas of reality. Good luck, combined with not impossible but not easy...that's a scary recipe.
     
  10. kanidana

    kanidana Heavy Load Member

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    at the end of the day, enjoy what you do, and hope you're either good at it naturally, or can learn it well. The rest will fall in around you. After all, eating is a fundamental part of life, and earning food while enjoying yourself makes life much more enjoyable, especially if you enjoy what you do. :biggrin_25520:
     
  11. chompi

    chompi Road Train Member

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    I think some of the "naysayers" are just trying to help newbies from spending $6000 grand on trucking school with the plans of going local. The facts are its rare for a student to land a local job out of school. Not impossible! Put yourself in the local employers shoes; are you going to hire a new student with no record, or experienced, proven driver that knows how to drive his truck without tearing it up or damaging freight? If you are one of the guys that is willing to do over the road, then you won't be so let down if going local doesn't pan out. Good luck to you.
     
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