Roehl Transport 2/15/10 blog

Discussion in 'Roehl' started by Layne, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. SmileyisSexy

    SmileyisSexy Light Load Member

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    Sep 1, 2009
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    I'm in marshfield right now hopefully everything is going well with you right now? I'll probably swing over to the orientation area and say hi to the director. I saw steve and scott yestreday lol. I'm waiting on getting a new truck right now mine hit the #######. new truck number is 6904 just have to transfer all of my stuff from truck to truck. Hope all is going well with everyone
     
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  3. Layne

    Layne Bobtail Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Toledo, Ohio
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    Hey Amy, been wanting to meet with you and see how your experience has been... I'll be in class at 7am tomorrow, classroom 4. Look for the long curly-haired kid if you drop by! We will probably break at 9am and get to driving soon after. I'm training with Dale.

    Today was much smoother than yesterday. We went through two more chapters in the book which were both rather short and then got back in the trucks. Made a couple more left hand loops on roads around the yard, had lunch, and then came back for an adventure. Dale got me in the drivers' seat and we went hiking down country roads in BFE. I got an insane amount of downshift practice on those roads, getting up to 55, down to 15, up to 55, down to 15. I'm feeling rather solid on those now. However, I did screw up hard in two areas today. My first left turn off one 55mph road onto another, I underestimated the stopping distance significantly and ended up brake stopping into the turn. If I had been loaded I would have flown right by. Also got my trailer up on an ramping curb on a funky right turn because I jumped the gun and rolled in the path of some distant traffic. It caused me to panic and cut back right hard during the turn too early, thus curbing me. Other than that, I feel like I did okay today on the roads.

    Alley backing is still biting my ### hard. I got to try twice today, the first time without having a trainer guiding me. Pulled up 6 times and just gave up. Came around the yard and hit the other station with Steve standing there, told him my problem, and he walked me right through it. I got out of the cab probably 6 or 7 times but got it in without a single pull-up. I'm struggling with when to cut the wheel or when to leave it straight during the early reversing part. Nailing my setup and my 90 degree turns, but getting the right tractor-trailer angle and position is a real beast. Practice, practice, practice. Steve is so much different than Dale... Dale's really chilled out, calm, comforting and sometimes you actually have to pry info from him because he's just relaxing. Steve, on the other hand, will volunteer every single bit of information possible and then some to get the point across to you. Extremely different schools of training and yet both function well. I think I would possibly have a panic attack if I were in Steve's truck on the road though... he's got his two guys all wound up. I think, if they can persevere and not crack under the pressure, that Steve will whip them into two bad ### drivers. Part of me envies them and part of me is glad I'm not in their shoes. I'm catching on well enough with Dale but lack a decent amount of knowledge that I'm having to teach myself during the last few hours of the day when it's just with Steve... things like actually doing the post-trip inspection. Not hard, but hadn't done it until Steve walked up and told us to with that kind of "You should already know this" attitude. We sucked it up and got it done. It works. I don't really have any complaints about it because it keeps us on our toes and makes sure we're not slacking.
    That's about it for today. More to come...
     
  4. Layne

    Layne Bobtail Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Toledo, Ohio
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    Lunch break! Got my right turns figured out mostly and I'm practicing with different downshift methods for getting into the low gears since 5th is an acceptable stopping gear. Making 9-7-5 jumps to bring her down from 45mph to a stop and it's working well. Only had one serious oops with the pre-selector and other than that everything seems to be doing well! Building some serious confidence with this... back to the fun soon!
     
  5. Layne

    Layne Bobtail Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Toledo, Ohio
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    K, been kinda distracted. Friday afternoon was more country driving followed by the usual first week alley backing practice. Nothing spectacular, but good practice.

    Went in Saturday for pre-trip practice and I have to say, Claude is a riot. The man has one of those dispositions that makes you just love life. He cracks good jokes, teaches well and is all-in-all wonderful. One of those guys you just want to buy a drink and pick the brain of for a whole day. He got us set up doing our pre-trip inspections, which my partner and I tore up in under 2 hours. Honestly, Roehl will make sure that you get your PTIs rock solid before you go take the CDL test. We had the option to leave at 9:30 but my partner and I chose to stay behind and practice our alley backs. PRICELESS!!! Got it down to where I'm pulling up within Wisconsin testing limits every time. Funny though that I haven't been able to pull a single alley back without a pull-up yet. But I have it down. I guess tweaking is the answer to that... and that comes with practice.

    Today was blasting through 4 more chapters that we read over the weekend and then we were out on the road once again. My partner was having some issues with driving today... I really think it was just being out from behind the wheel for the weekend. He got a lot of drive time in, I banked about an hour. We both hit the "city" streets of downtown Marshfield, which isn't much, but it's still tight driving with decent traffic and lots of street lights. I'm feeling really smooth. Screwed up once big time though, went over my first inner "city" railroad track and in watching the traffic and lights, didn't realize it. Shifted right over the tracks. Big oops. That could get my license suspended for I think 3 months if I did it in front of a cop. Gotta watch that one.

    We moved over to alley back practice in between dry vans and flatbeds but I must say, being in Marshfield in February is kinda tricky. 1 or 2 pull-up backs became 7 or 8 because of traction issues. We were still able to do it, but the amount of time spent in trying to get traction made the practice useless. So one of us got practice in the 70' box, what I've been wanting to get into for most of the past week in the first place. Hopefully that will be me tomorrow. All in all though, we're at the point where we all know the basics well and we're just finessing our new knowledge and making it more habitual so that we can focus more on things like identifying hazards and increasing MPGs. I've passed the point of being worried about passing my CDL test and am now just thinking of how the EVOs are going to be for me and trying to get a better grasp of just what flatbedding will really bring me, i.e. a pain in the ### or a fun challenge. Time will tell...
     
  6. Layne

    Layne Bobtail Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Toledo, Ohio
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    Just threw up a pic finally. That was an interesting day, to say the least. Gotta love building houses... But I thought I'd throw that out there.
     
  7. GypsyWillowDusk72

    GypsyWillowDusk72 Medium Load Member

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    Jul 14, 2009
    everywhere
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    Though I don't know if the higher ups monitor this board I do know of one DSR in Ellenwood that use to come on and read these posts,
     
  8. majestyk

    majestyk Road Train Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    las vegas, nv
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    Keep rolling along Layne. Had to bump up my start time to March 8 as I had a bad encounter with a bulldog that laid my arm open pretty badly Sunday. I suppose that I will have the same trainers as you as I will be three weeks apart. Do they have a set of instructors that do three week cycles with the students or do the same instructors work with each set of incoming students?
     
  9. spinpsychle

    spinpsychle Medium Load Member

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    Oct 29, 2008
    New Brighton, MN
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    There's another tricky railroad crossing near headquarters, if you go into that industrial park east of Veteran's. I'm sure you'll know what to do. :biggrin_255:
     
  10. Layne

    Layne Bobtail Member

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    Jan 3, 2010
    Toledo, Ohio
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    MajestyK, you keep the same two trainers for the entire three weeks... they have six trainers total with a limit of three students per trainer. So yes, you'll be working with Dale and Steve. Sorry to hear about the injury... I love dogs, have two, but getting nailed by one really sucks. A pissy german sheperd laid me out pretty badly once before.

    Spin, I know exactly where you're talking about. Went over that one back on Friday, I think, with no issues. Went over the one I screwed up on twice more today as well with no problems. However, got messed up bad in another spot in town... The 110 degree turn on a hill. Apparently it's going to be on the driver exam and I'm driving Dale's truck, which has a really weak left turn radius. I was a good 3 feet on the curb with my right steer. I'm none too happy about that. That's a 5 point deduction on the test.
    Today was another one of those frustrating days. Not as bad as that one last week, but enough to leave me peeved. That curb incident got to me a bit though the rest of my city and rural driving was really good, barely missing any gears, nailing my downshifts, and learning much better exactly what rpm ranges I need to be in. Still need to work on the mirror checks during turns, namely the outside mirror. We were going to practice our alley backs in between trailers again but some of the flatbed trailers were missing so we rotated 2 trucks in the driver exam testing area, working the alley backs and straight line backs. I got it in the first time in what I thought was two pull ups but afterward Steve told me it was 3 because I GOALed and then realized I had about 5 more feet I could pull forward to try to get my second 90 degree in, and apparently that counted. Kinda irritated me. The second one, I don't know what was up. Three pull ups and still ugly. I'm learning more and more that the technique they're teaching us is just a reference starting point and does very little to actually assist you in the way you get the trailer back in to the spot. It's all about having the feel down and understanding the geometry of it. I'm rather grrrr at the moment.
     
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  11. Dr. Venture

    Dr. Venture Medium Load Member

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    Jun 29, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
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    I should be through the terminal tomorrow to drop off this trailer and get my windshield fixed, if I can be of any help or you have any questions about the company feel free to let me know. I think I'm the only IC on the flatbed side running an International so I'm easy to pick out. Best of luck to you, Dale was my instructor and is a great guy to learn from.
     
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