Training Day Five

I’m ready to back up to a dock and pick up a load. This is great! I can actually do this. Driving is starting to be fun and not a cause for stress anymore. I’ve pretty much gotten down everything that I need to…now for more practice. Wow, this 45 degree alley docking is a breeze. Oops, was that a cone?

I want my POV! We have a morning class tomorrow and an afternoon class on Sunday. I’m going back to Phoenix and pick up our van. This riding the bus crap and being stuck in a motel in the middle of nowhere sucks big time.

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Training Day Three

Ugh. Today my driving instructor told me the story of “Club 215 & the Denny’s Dollars.” It seems that in the past, SNI used to issue “Denny’s Dollars” to the trainees for meals. There is a strip club across the freeway from the motel. The story is that one of the students went over there and tried to buy “lap dances” with his Denny Dollars. Then he came back to the motel about 3am and started banging on the door to a room with two female students in it. He wanted to come in and “study” with them. This got back to SNI and now they don’t issue anything for meals except at the OC. We all laughed about it.

Today we finished up Mechanical, Logging, Loss Prevention and DOT. We’ve taken four “Checks for Learning” so far. Tomorrow we have no classroom training. The class that is one week ahead of us has their final exam and their Drive Test is tomorrow, so the instructor will probably be at the OC helping with that. Driving is coming along good. I’m putting everything back together that I remember and incorporating new stuff with it.

Training Day Two

David’s Rule of Computing #1…always make sure that the phone jack in the hotel room is analog and not digital. There is a “Data Jack” on the side of the phone, but no instructions anywhere in the room. I killed my laptop last night and had to reload some drivers to get it to work again. This motel sucks. Rumor has it that Schneider has canned the contract and we may be moved this weekend. I hope so.

More of the same today. Classroom training in the morning and driving instruction in the afternoon. We get back to the motel room in a daze and just fall into bed. So far no real homework, but I’m sure it’s coming.

Training Day One

DAY ONE is finally here. After getting to the motel lobby for the shuttle that is supposed to leave at 5:45am, we are told that US Truck Driving School (where I’m attending training) will send a bus that will be here at 6:10. Ok, not a problem. We rode to the school in a full-size tour bus that they use for bus driver training.

Not a bad trip. The music was good (oldies). We arrived at the USTDS school in Rialto, CA about 6:30am. Class didn’t start until 7 so we had time to stand around and stare at each other like the strangers we were. There are 14 of us in class. Two women and 12 men. Three or four of us have either been to a school in the past or have some driving experience in the past.

Just before 7am, the instructor unlocked the door and we all filed in. We started the process to becoming a “truck driver.” Paperwork, introductions, schedules, etc. After a couple of hours of that, he passed out our driver handbooks and started on Mechanical stuff. We spent two hours working our way through Mechanical Operations and Logging. We’ll finish both of these up tomorrow…hopefully.

Off to the Operating Center for lunch. We are told that the Fontana Operating Center (OC) probably has the best cafeteria/catering contractors, compared to the other 10 OCs. That remains to be seen. Would you prefer grease, grease or grease with your grease? We tracked down the head honcho for training and received our little meal tickets. These are good for $5 worth of food (one coupon per visit per person) and we have enough to last us through the 11 days.

After an interesting lunch, we are introduced to our driver instructors. The school breaks the class down so that each instructor has two students in the truck. This makes for a lot of drive time. However, one of the instructors had been rear-ended (in his POV) that morning so we had to take one of his students. His other student went with another instructor. We were “taken” to an industrial park area directly under the flight path for Ontario International Airport. There we learned/relearned shifting and basic truck operations…sans trailer. I’m very happy that I remembered as much as I did and I didn’t grind the gears much at all. (Very little, according to the instructor.)