YRC Driver training - Roadsidedown's journey

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by RoadSideDown, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    Could be subsidized but I have no idea either way. The tuition wasn’t a factor in my decision to go with YRC so I never paid attention to how much it might be or duration of contract. To find out it is zero and there will be no paycheck deductions was a pleasant surprise. That is probably about $5,000 of value gratis. Which if paid for with after-tax money it might be worth $5,500-$6,000 gross.

    I spent this evening writing up my own pre-trip script based on class notes, instructor comments and the Oregon DMV manual. Very tedious writing. But now I am super confident I can nail this portion of the DMV testing. A couple of days practicing and I should have it 85% down. By end of next week it should be second nature.
     
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  3. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

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  4. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    Thx! Having gone through school bus training before, this is very similar but they are taking a different slant on the pretrip. Once the pretrip is down pat I can spend all my time in the truck. So a bit of incentive to get it thought out clearly and memorized well.
    These rigs aren’t very big compared to the haul truck I was driving but still plenty big when you consider driving in traffic!
     
  5. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

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    Great idea. This is something that would be very helpful to other new people and even truck owners like myself.

    If you could share this at some point that would be cool. I’m interested to know what all is being taught between the school, instructors, book, etc.
     
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  6. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    Sure, I can post that when I have it completed tonight. I have everything written except for the In Cab and Air Brake test segments.

    Note that there are differences in what other states are looking for. In Oregon we can inspect an axle or side and then say I would inspect the other axles/side in the same way. But in Washington they need to inspect each one. Some states require more detail in the steering linkage than Oregon. We don’t inspect the battery compartment while others do.

    My script would need to be verified for the state you test in. But it has the essentials so it would be easy to add to or copy and paste repetitive segments.
     
  7. Lunatic Fringe

    Lunatic Fringe Medium Load Member

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    I'm glad you're happy with your choice. That's important. Historically, Yellow was a much bigger player in US trucking. They've fallen on hard times in the last decade. They went on a buying spree thinking if they had coast to coast LTL that would mean something to customers and they would pay extra for that. They were wrong. They paid way too much for Reddaway, Holland and New Penn. Reddaway is the only one that's consistently profitable but with no money for new equipment, and 10 years of retirements exceeding new hires Yellow has been slowly running them into the ground. Shortly after the acquisition they asked their new employees to participate in a, "temporary" giveback. Basically, your paychecks will have a deduction of 15% of the gross that you, "give back" to Yellow. Ten years later and they're still giving back.

    Reddaway has a very nice and well laid out terminal on N. Vancouver Way. Unfortunately, they had to sell some of their other terminals to pay Yellow's vig. Their Salem terminal was very nice also, but it's no longer theirs. Even with the terminal sales, the giveback and the freeze on new equipment purchases Yellow was still treading water financially. It gets to be a downward spiral - you have to drive old trucks because you can't afford new ones but at some point it's more expensive to keep an old truck running than it is to just buy a new one so their costs were higher than the competition. Yellow's trucks are twice as old as the industry average. Trucks that old are also less fuel efficient than new ones and tend to spend more time broke down on the side of the road. It was also getting harder to attract new drivers to drive old trucks for less than they could make at any other LTL company. Since most of the majors only train on automatics most of the new drivers have automatic restrictions on their CDL's but all of YRC's trucks have manual transmissions so they had another problem.

    Things were getting pretty bad for Yellow - they were behind on both pension contributions and union healthcare dues. They were hanging on by a thread until July of last year, along comes Captain Save-A-Ho (Uncle Sam) with $700 million for 29.6% equity. That's where Yellow got the money to train new drivers (like you) and buy new equipment. There were also grants from the feds and private industry. As one publication put it, "The LTL carrier, whose continued survival has perplexed analysts, escapes the jaws of dissolution once again." I wish you, Yellow, YRC and Reddaway nothing but the best. I tell you these things not to bash, but to let you know what you're walking into.

    Yellow planned on buying 1,100 new trucks in 2021 (out of a fleet of 14,000). No word on how many they were actually able to purchase with Volvo's supply chain issues. In their last earnings call they fell short and blamed the imaginary, "driver shortage".
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
  8. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! My primary goal is to get the Class A and a year experience then re-assess. I might be moving to Ft Worth by then so that would really toss things up whether I stay or switch. Being in my late sixties I don’t plan to be driving more than several years anyway.
    Hopefully all holds together for a year. If not I will at least have some experience u see my belt.
     
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  9. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    DAY 4
    A great day! After some pretrip I got to drop and hook my first trailer and then started straight backing. After a few kinks I finally got the hang of it. Two hours of pull up and straight backup with a pup trailer. Apparently I was the best in our small class. After some video training I was the only one taken out and given coaching on up shifting. I had been anxious about whether I would get the clutch down or not but it turned out to be nothing. I was soon cruising around the terminal yard stopping, starting, and up shifting mostly from 2-5, but several times I hit the high switch and caught 6th. Two solid hours of shifting practice. I now have a pretty good feel for the clutch on a Kenworth and a Volvo. Everyone had at least three hours in the cab today.
    This was a huge confidence boost for me and it was freaking exciting to be driving a real tractor and trailer combo. Obviously being my first driving day it was still a bit rough but overall pretty smooth and a few times were just super glide! I love this.

    Tomorrow is more of the same. I should be able to finish my video training this weekend and have my pretrip solid by early next week. That leaves three weeks for backing and road practice. This is a great training course.
     
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  10. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    Trying to post attachment of my pretrip narrative.
    This is what I am using to memorize. It is specific to Oregon and somewhat to the fact I know I will be testing on one of the Volvos. The sequence and what is present or not is customized. I cross referenced this to the Oregon DMV manual but it may need further refinement or correction as I practice with it. For your entertainment purposes only!
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. RoadSideDown

    RoadSideDown Light Load Member

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    DAY 5
    More practice rotation. I did pretrip before break, moved to offset backing afterward. I was in a big old 1997 Freightliner with a pup and just could not get it today. Figure I am at too much of a starting angle. Monday will try again in the shorter Kenworth or Volvo. Frustrating but confident next try will be much better. After lunch I was in one of the old Kenworths doing more runs around the yard practicing shifting. Feeling good about it so far, don’t see a problem with the road test three weeks away. After the last break I was on the federal video training. I will finish those this weekend which will free up another 1.5 hrs per day for additional driving time.

    Overall a great day. Next week we continue with pretrip and offset backing and possibly easy road driving. We can only get up to 7th gear in the yard so it will be great to run through more gears on a real road with real traffic. Another student started acing his straight backing and offsets and is a natural on the stick. A few others will start shifting around the yard Monday. A couple are having problems with straight backing but we are hopeful it clicks with them soon.

    At this rate we will be getting 4-6 hrs/day driving fir the next three weeks. One on one with instructor as needed and mostly solo. The instructors are very good. They help as much as needed but also give us free rein when we demonstrate competence.

    So far very happy with the YRC/Reddaway training. The program is less than a year old but the instruction is great and access to trucks and trailers excellent. I love all the drive hours!
     
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