My apologies for falling so far behind in my updates on how my training here at Schneider National was progressing. There was a high school shooting in my town, and it’s been pretty crazy. Three dead, and 2 others shot. One victim was my friend and old co-worker, but fortunately it looks like he is going to make it. You never know what tomorrow might bring. Please keep everyone in Chardon, OH in your prayers, because it has been an absolutely surreal 2 days.
On to my Schneider training…
As I mentioned in my last post, my time (in week two) with my TE (training engineer, who is a driver that takes trainees out on the road for 5-7 days), I spent my whole first day waiting for Workflow to assign us a load. It never happened, so we bunked down for the night and waited. My TE was a real cool guy, and I definitely learned some valuable stuff for when I am out on the road alone. We spent the next three days running from Detroit to northern MI to WI then off to PA. Saturday morning I took a bus from Harrisburg, PA to Indianapolis, where I spent the 3rd week of my training. Overall, my experience with my TE was a good one that I feel is a vital step for Schneider, so that they can assure that their new employees really have what it takes to perform this job safely and well. I have no complaints about anything at all about the TE process, and feel that I am more prepared for being solo because of it.
Week three, the final 4 days of training, took place in Indianapolis. The first three days basically consisted of classroom work for 80% of the time, and the other 20% in the truck doing some more driving, backing, and maneuvering. In the classroom, we studied map reading, trip planning, E-logging, and then the new “Workflow” system that is used on the QualComm (in-cab computer). Those few says definitely went by pretty slow at times, but it was necessary to get through, and it really wasn’t hard or anything at all. Those three days are basically arranged so that you can be totally prepared for the SQT (skills quality test), which took place on Thursday.
The SQT consists of 2 parts. “Soft skills” and “hard skills.” The test started first thing on Thursday, and began with a trip plan scenario. They were looking to make sure that you can come up with an ETA for a given load, and if you will even be able to accept the load at all. After successfully doing that, it was time to get with an “OSR” (don’t even know what it stands for, to be honest), and go take the rest of the test in the truck. In the truck, we had to do a proper pre-trip, coupling, and brake test. (Note: during the entire test, you can use any reference materials that you want. Handouts for the pre-trip, coupling, trip planning, Workflow, etc. can all be used during the test) After coupling, I had to get on the QualComm and do what I would do for a real load (there was a fake load that had been assigned to me). The navigation system took me about 7 miles away, where we ended up in an empty parking lot. Did some more on the QC (all the things you would need to do when arriving to the shipper, and before leaving the shipper). The directions from there on out took us right back to the Indy Operating Center. During the whole drive, obviously the tester is looking to see that you make proper turns, lane changes, your shifting, mirror usage, etc. After arriving back at the OC, there was one 45 degree backing that had to be done to put the trailer where it needed to go. After getting that done, I was to drop the trailer. Finished the QC tasks, and that was it!
I was excited to get done with the SQTs, and even more excited that I passed with no problem. I have been back home for a few days now, and am picking up my Cascadia tomorrow, and then hitting the road.
I will continue to post updates here to let you all know how it’s coming along, and how my first run goes.
Thanks, and stay safe out there!