Oh, by the way, sneaking home chesse curds doesn't work. If curds aren't fresh, they're crap.
Starting Schneider National Dedicated Flex Fleet
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As for the bonus:
$980 + $300 for my 3rd week out
then $980 + $400 for every week past my 4th week
Also for every week I'm out, I bank 1 day of home time.
If I'm able to keep a pace like that I'll be extremely happy. If they can give me a truck with an APU I have no problem living in it, as I don't have a spouse or kids or any real obligations tying me down anywhere. I used to be a roadie before the pandemic did away with concerts and I lived most of my life on the road in hotels or at arenas/stadiums in green rooms anyway, so honestly a cozy truck with a bed sounds a lot nicer than a pile of packing blankets or a hammock under a stage during a concert LOL.
They told me I really hit the ground running with this NDF gig, I'm sure in time I will figure out whatever that means.
So, my 5th day (Saturday) was just as I expected it to be. Passed all of my CFLs and CBTs with flying colors. Was the first one in the class to finish all the tests. As I suspected, after finishing the CFLs, we started learning how to do logging on the tablets and got our EFS cards. I also enrolled in the benefits while I had some free time. Got done around 11:45am...
The rest of the class and I finished everything and had the option to eat lunch at the OC or go back to the hotel for the rest of the day. We all decided to go back to the hotel and were back at the hotel before 1pm. Easy day overall.
I thought today would be the last day driving the shuttle van to/from the hotel, but I guess I may now be the designated van driver for the rest of the time at orientation lol. I'm fine with it though, it's cool they're trusting me with that responsibility. Slowly but surely assimilating the Schneider Way™.
Tomorrow I have the day off, gonna sleep in probably.
Monday, I believe we will start simulators and do some more in-depth tablet stuff. There is a possibility that I have do the flatbed/moffett training next week. Will keep updating.
6th day (Monday) Complete. Watched some videos on how to use NaviGo and did some practice trip planning with the atlas. Also did some simulators for skid control, winter conditions, deteriorating conditions, how to do controlled braking and jake brake down mountains, how to deal with a steer tire blowout, etc. Accidentally mowed over a group of people standing on the interstate on the very first simulation, learned quickly to go slow when you can't see. Also learned to pull the trailer spring brakes if you lose air pressure and can't operate the service brakes. Easy day overall.
I've had somewhat of a scare though, one of the TE's told me and another guy to be expecting a call from Dr Lopez... and from my understanding Dr Lopez is the doctor that calls you if you failed a drug test. I've been clean and sober for 4 years, literally just picked up my 4 year chip on christmas eve, so I'm kinda freaking out about why Dr Lopez would call me when I'm clean. I don't even smoke cigarettes anymore.
Googling it hasn't produced anything very reassuring. Apparently its possible that one of the TEs was just horsing around with me, as I'm not even sure this TE knows my name or how he would know if Dr Lopez was supposed to be calling. But the thought of losing this job for a false positive or something has me stressed to the max, especially after devoting the last 4 years of my life to staying clean and sober. All the progress I've made over the past 4 years just to be stopped here would be devastating. I'm praying that it was just a joke or something, but if it's not i don't know what I'm going to do, especially if it goes on my DAC or to the Clearinghouse. I'm so stressed about this.
I've been thinking about it, and the only thing I can think of that would've caused a false positive is maybe Sudafed I took one morning before CDL school in maybe October or November because I couldn't breathe out of my nose. I think the lady that collected my samples asked if I had been taking any medications before taking the tests and I wasn't thinking about that one day in october or november. I don't take any other medications so I just told her I hadn't taken anything.
Dr. Lopez still hasn't called me so I'm starting to think maybe that guy was joking with me but I still don't know. The cell signal at the Dallas OC isn't very good though so if he tried to call while I was in class and didn't leave a voicemail, I'm not sure I would've known.
But anyway, praying everything is fine. Will keep updating.
7th day (Tuesday) complete.
Update on the drug test situation: so the reason the TE yesterday told me to expect a call from Lopez was because me and a couple other people's tests hadn't come back as clear yet, and apparently that usually means Lopez just needs to ask you some questions about any meds you may have taken because it's not a straight out fail. But what actually happened is the results were delayed, I guess because of New Years holiday. Today all of the results came in and everyone in the class passed their drug tests evidently. So I was stressing all day yesterday about nothing. Whew. Weight off my shoulders though, so glad everything turned out okay.
Anyway, from the yard today I drove about 3 hours around Dallas again. The other trainee that was in the truck with me the past week was gone today for some reason, so it was just me and the TE today. We came back to the yard before lunch and I did some 45-degree backing. I had never done 45-degree backing before but omg its sooooo much easier than the 90-degree I had been doing in CDL school. TE said I was pretty #### good at backing, which makes sense because I spent almost 3 months on the backing pad at CDL school. 45 was a piece of cake for me.
After I came back from lunch, I left and went on another drive, this time for about an hour, then came back to the yard and did a slow maneuvering obstacle course between trailers. I did pretty well on this too, except for the very last maneuver I realized I turned way to early, but I was able to back it up and start over and got it the 2nd time easy.
After the obstacle course, I did one last backing maneuver into a parking spot and got set up to uncouple and recouple. I had never done coupling before by myself, so this was cool and was easier than I thought it was going to be. Just kept my sheet with me and went through it line by line and it was no problem.
Unbeknownst to me, all day today I was being evaluated by the TE. After I got done with the coupling the TE told me to go to the cafeteria to wait for him, and he came back with some papers for me to sign and broke the news that I was being evaluated the whole time. I was nervous as hell, but then he told me I did pretty well driving the truck, I just need to work on my button hooks and checking my mirrors more. He said I did excellent backing. So after I signed the papers, he told me good luck and he thinks I'll be alright out there as long as I don't hit any curbs.
So I guess I'm done with that part of the training and my old TE will start with a new group tomorrow. I'm guessing tomorrow we get our tablets and start practicing elogs and workflow on the tablets. Anyway, I'm glad today ended on a high note, especially after yesterday's stressing out.
I also learned today that in addition to my flatbed and moffett training, I'll also be having lift-gate, straight-truck, and pallet jack training. I can't imagine what pallet jack training will be like because I've been using them for years at my old job lmao. Apparently all of that extra training starts next week for me, while everyone else in my current class will be out on the road with a personal TE.
Looking forward to see what the future brings. I'll keep updating.
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