So what is next for you techiekate?? Are you hanging around waiting for a trainer?? I do have a few questions for ya though. I'm going there on the 27th and was wondering about the sleeping quarters. I take it we stay in the bunkhouse the first week then move to the hotel for the second week according to your posts correct? My recruiter was supposed to email me the "what to bring and expect" list but haven't received it yet. Any tips for us newbies in that regard? I don't remember you stating anything about that in your previous posts (if you did I opologize). I'm just trying to tie up loose ends and prepare as quickly as possible as time is short and I'm still working at my current job. Not to mention I don't wanna look like a dork while I'm there. You obviously have a laptop... so I take it we can keep our things pretty secure then?
On another note... and I think I speak for all of us newbies either going or thinking of going to Central Ref, THANK YOU!! This type of info is invaluable. I know others have posted their experiences going through training, But yours is so detailed and it's always good to get other peoples perspective. Again thank you and drive safe!!
Week One at Central Ref...(woman's perspective)
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Day 13 (Saturday): Today we got to have a half day. We only had to work on our trip planning for our fictitious trip. It takes us from Albany, NY (roughly) to San Diego, CA. We have to plan out and log the trip and let tell them how many miles it'll be, how many hours of on duty time, what the weigh stations are and stuff like that. Its nothing to major and we get to work in groups so if you can read a map, and do some simple math, you'll be just fine.
Monday, we start our orientation and officially become employees of Central. Orientation lasts for 3 days, apparently they're half days so no more 9 hour days of watching horribly boring videos. We do however get to learn the QualComm and how to log with it so that should be cool. Starting wednesday, apparently, some of us will be teaming up with our trainers and hitting the road! I can't wait.
Here's a packing list that I found online:
- Shower Supplies
- Flip-flops (for the showers)
- Laundry Bag
- Sleeping Bag or Blanket
- Alarm Clock
- Laundry Soap (see if you can find the Purel 3-in-1 laundry clothes, they're awesome and WAY better then carrying bottles of detergent and softener with you!)
- Boots (really only needed in the winter)
- Tennis Shoes
- Rain-gear (not really necessary in Salt Lake in the summer)
- Flashlight (you'll need it later on the road with the trainer for Pre-Trips and Post-Trips)
- Coat/Jacket/Sweatshirt (we have had some slightly chilly nights so if you get cold easily, it might be a good idea)
- Work Gloves (definitely a good thing to have with you)
- Briefcase/Zip Close Binder
- Pens (preferably black for your log books)
- Small 6-8" Ruler
- White Out
- Trucker's Atlas
- Passport (if you have one)
- Social Security Card (the REAL one)
- Birth Certificate (the REAL one)
- Work History
- 4 References with addresses and phone numbers (NOT relatives)
- Cell Phone
- Direct Deposit Information
- Bank Account Information
- Money - You need to support yourself for 2 1/2 - 3 weeks. If you eat at the cafeteria for breakfast and dinner, look to spend $5 - $10 per meal. Remember there is access to Wal-Mart where you can get breakfast and lunch stuff and eat much cheaper. There's really nothing around for dinner except that the Domino's guy brings a bunch of small pizzas by at around 6 o'clock. They're $5 each. There is also a Taco Truck guy who comes later in the evening, around 7 I think. I never ate anything from the Taco Guy so I'm not sure of prices. Also, if you are a smoker, cigarettes cost about $6 a pack here so if you can get them cheaper at home, bring them with you. I started with $500 and going into the last three days of training, I'm running out of money. You can do it with less, some of my classmates have, but I would suggest no less then $300. Also, either $40 or $60 will be spent on paying for your permit depending on whether you pass it on the first day.
Here's the scoop on the bunk house. It used to be a juvenile detention center. Its plenty clean so don't worry about that. But the rooms are 6' x 8' with a heater and an air conditioner. The beds are not comfortable, at all. But luckily, you'll barely be spending anytime sleeping cause you've got alot of studying to do. There is also a game room with some video games and a pool table. During the day the trucker's shop is open. You can get t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, hotdogs, sodas, and food. Along with other miscellaneous things like tylenol.
Also remember, if you bring it with you, you have to sleep with it in the trainer's trunk. Just a little thought to keep you from over packing. I packed 10 days of clothes and it seems to be the perfect amount.
Hope this help! Thanks again for your words of support! Hopefully, I won't be here anymore once you get here, cause that would mean that I would have been waiting on a trainer for 4 days and that wouldn't make me happy at all! Talk to you guys again soon!Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
Something to add to the list. Bring ear plugs. Your roomy might snore like no other. Also, in the truck you might need them to sleep. I used them for the first couple weeks. Then I got used to the noise. Walmart has them by the medicine area. I used the blue ones but they have a few diff boxes of em.
Oh yeah, thank goodness I had some spare TP with me on the road. A rest stop was out and nature was calling lol
I saw you guys last week. I was there doing my upgrade and then flew out to Ga to get my truck. My first load took me home and I am about to head back out. Anxious to get back out on the roadtechiekate29 Thanks this.
Easy on how much you pack. There is not alot of room in the trucks. I took 8 days of clothes and found that to be a good number but it's up to you. You will fill out your Direct Deposit forms next week. I don't think you need any number but your bank account number. If you take a cell phone(99.9% do) most of them have alarm clocks on them and most will update the time as you go between time zones. Remember, log on Mountain time(paper logs) but deliveries and other things are done on local time(whatever time zone you are in). Do bring a rain coat and a least a sweatshirt. It was raining in Ohio when I was there(twice) and I was glad I had it. The sweatshirt is for if/when you go to a cold staorage place. Yes it's nice to get out of 95 degree weather in a freezer but you will get cold soon. The one place I got loaded in Arlington,TX was really cold and I am glad I had a hoodie. You won't need references and work history trust me. It will save you room in your briefcase for the big gray Central book and the couple folders they give you(Kate, you will get these next week).
Pack as light as you can without trying to sacrifice anything.
Stay safe out there
It's ok Kate. I just remember the only things I had to fill out on the road were the logs, your daily driver journal and the training papers you will get next week. I didn't bring any reference papers or work history with me at all. I did buy an atlas and truck stop book. They both helped alot. Starting Monday you will have information overload. Write down as much as you can and keep all the handouts with you on the road.
I hope your not there when I get there either techiekate! I'm assuming that the beds are bunk beds at the bunk house?? Just wondering as I use a cpap machine. By the way how did they get you there?? I love to drive but dread sitting for over 40 hours in a cramped bus with God knows who sitting beside you. I don't know about Central but Roehl buses, fly's or rents a car for you to get to their training facilities. I'd rather them rent me a cheapo car and drive there than do a Greyhound. Of course flying would be great also. But beggars can't be choosers.
As for how to get here. I drove because my bus ride would have been 34 hours or something ridiculous like that. My mom and sister wanted to take a little vacation so they drove me out here then continued on west for a little bit before heading home. I DO know that if you don't take the bus (its the only method that they use to get students here), you can purchase a flight or train ticket or drive, turn in the receipts to your recruiter and they will reimburse you up to the amount that your bus ticket would have been.
I will tell you, when I asked my recruiter what my bus ticket would cost, he told me that from South Bend, IN it would be $160. Now, when I checked what the Amtrak ticket would be from Chicago, it was only $163 (for a non-sleeper ticket). If my mom and sister hadn't have brought me out here, I would have taken the train. Its a MILLION times better to ride the train for 34 hours then to ride a bus for that period! You can actually get up and move around. You don't have to sit all cramped up next to someone. You generally have room to move away from someone that's bothering you, PLUS, they generally have dining cars that you can go to whenever you want. Also, you won't have to sit next to a stinky bathroom. Taking the Amtrak is awesome too because the train generally doesn't run near the highways so you get to see parts of the country that you'll never see from the road!
The reimbursement for your alternative travel arrangement will be given to you at the end of orientation along with your $100 orientation pay. They give that all to you on a ComData card. Its nice cause you'll be heading out with your trainer then right after orientation so you'll have money for the road for a little while.
Hope this helps Yogi!
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