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Just starting as a female driver any suggestions out there?

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Rebecca G.'s Comment
member avatar

I start my CDL training on Monday the 20th and I am just now starting to feel my nerves going and my stress levels rising. I'm studying my BUTT off for the permit test and found some really great resources but, I'd like to hear from the real women on the road! Any pointers or suggestions would be much appreciated especially to calm my nerves about this whole thing. My main thing is the whole pre-trip inspection that's getting to me! It's a good nervous though...lol Thanks so much

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Penny's Comment
member avatar

I'm not on the road, I'm in school right now.

I'm a book learner. I went through the High Road here and I didn't find the tests too difficult at the DMV because the High Road will DEFINITELY help you be prepared. I did all 6 tests in a couple hours and the lady at the DMV was surprised I passed everything on the first try. So study the High Road training here and the permit will be a breeze for you.

Driving/gear shifting/backing. This apparently requires some muscle memory and coordination that I don't yet have. I have had some hard nights, but I'm determined. You CAN do this. I'm getting a little better even though some nights are better than others.

Expect it to be hard. Expect to get discouraged. But realize that you're learning something new. Don't be too hard on yourself. Be polite to your instructors and ask questions when you don't understand things. My instructors are not at all shy about telling me what I'm doing wrong. It is a man's world and they may treat you a little like one of the boys if you do something boneheaded. But they are also willing to help me if I ask about things I'm confused about.

I had never shifted gears in any vehicle. I truly suck at it still, but it's getting better little by little. I practiced with a plunger this weekend. I hope when I drive tonight (we were on the range last night) that I will be able to tell a difference. We will see.

The pre trip...memorization. We were given a 10 page document to memorize, but a lot of it repeats and a lot of the phrasing is the same. I have also learned a lot of the parts under the hood and such that I had no clue about. I am working on it and I even made voice memos on my phone so I can listen to parts of it at work. I'm going to do this and you can too if you want it bad enough.

You have to want it and apply yourself. This is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. No kidding. I'm 52 and have 4 kids, so that's saying a lot. It is a big challenge, but it has already made me realize that I'm tougher than I thought, which is a really, really good thing.

Part of it is I'm working and going to school. If you don't have to work through school, it will be easier, but it can be done either way.

Study hard and do your best and don't beat yourself up about things you don't know before you even start. You can do this!!

Good luck!

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Rebecca G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you so much for you advice and kind words! I never thought of the plunger idea but I am familiar with a manual transmission vehicle however, I have heard it is really different. Again thanks for the encouraging words and for sharing your story! I'll keep you posted on my progress and I hope you do the same.

I'm not on the road, I'm in school right now.

I'm a book learner. I went through the High Road here and I didn't find the tests too difficult at the DMV because the High Road will DEFINITELY help you be prepared. I did all 6 tests in a couple hours and the lady at the DMV was surprised I passed everything on the first try. So study the High Road training here and the permit will be a breeze for you.

Driving/gear shifting/backing. This apparently requires some muscle memory and coordination that I don't yet have. I have had some hard nights, but I'm determined. You CAN do this. I'm getting a little better even though some nights are better than others.

Expect it to be hard. Expect to get discouraged. But realize that you're learning something new. Don't be too hard on yourself. Be polite to your instructors and ask questions when you don't understand things. My instructors are not at all shy about telling me what I'm doing wrong. It is a man's world and they may treat you a little like one of the boys if you do something boneheaded. But they are also willing to help me if I ask about things I'm confused about.

I had never shifted gears in any vehicle. I truly suck at it still, but it's getting better little by little. I practiced with a plunger this weekend. I hope when I drive tonight (we were on the range last night) that I will be able to tell a difference. We will see.

The pre trip...memorization. We were given a 10 page document to memorize, but a lot of it repeats and a lot of the phrasing is the same. I have also learned a lot of the parts under the hood and such that I had no clue about. I am working on it and I even made voice memos on my phone so I can listen to parts of it at work. I'm going to do this and you can too if you want it bad enough.

You have to want it and apply yourself. This is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. No kidding. I'm 52 and have 4 kids, so that's saying a lot. It is a big challenge, but it has already made me realize that I'm tougher than I thought, which is a really, really good thing.

Part of it is I'm working and going to school. If you don't have to work through school, it will be easier, but it can be done either way.

Study hard and do your best and don't beat yourself up about things you don't know before you even start. You can do this!!

Good luck!

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

The only thing different is that you have to double clutch a truck versus single clutching in a passenger vehicle. The pretrip will come to you in time. Don't worry. You can do what I did: I used the voice recorder on my phone to record the pretrip inspection and I listened to it over and over and over again, while driving, while cleaning the house, even while sleeping when I could! It's a great way to memorize anything. Good luck!

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Rebecca G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks so much....I will definitely be using the recorder on my phone for sure! I'm here now and feeling confident that everything is going to be ok!

Texaslady0804's Comment
member avatar

I went to school last summer and started driving in September. My husband was my trainer and we team drive now. I get your nerves. It is a big change. Take it all seriously. Ask lots of questions. Never think your question is too dumb to ask cause someone else is wondering the same thing. Backing was and still is my biggest problem. I still have to get help. Everyone tells me it is only more experience that makes it better. I'm a perfectionist so I'm really hard on myself. I hope you are not. It is all worth it. I've driven through almost all 48 of the state's and they are beautiful and amazing. Was scary going through NYC but I did it. I've driven in snow covering the road so the only way to know I was on pavement was the rumble straps, there was no where to pull off safely or I would have. I've seen sun rise over the ocean and sunset over the mountains. Driven mountain roads with ice on them. All challenging. All worth it. The only time I ever get discouraged is when I can't back into a spot I need to and have to ask for help. Lol Enjoy it all.

Robby's Comment
member avatar

If you don't mind a guy putting in his two cents worth...

I started with Prime last November. The most difficult thing I've noticed was for me to get out of my own way! I put way too much pressure on myself. I worried about the written tests, the pre-recorded, the backing, this, that! I'm surprised I didn't give myself a heart attack or a stroke! It will all come together for you, trust me.... Just think of it this way... Go to a truck stop... Look around at the people that drive trucks.... If they can do it, you KNOW you can!! Just relax and trust the process... YOU GOT THIS!! Best of luck to you and God Speed!! Keep us up to date so we can help and encourage!!

good-luck.gifgood-luck.gifgood-luck.gif

Robby's Comment
member avatar

Pre-trip... Not pre-recorded... Cheese and crackers!!

rofl-1.gifrofl-3.gifrofl-2.gif

AZCindy.'s Comment
member avatar

Preparing for school and taking my permit test. Looking forward to it all--but trying to get a handle on the engine parts. So new to me.

Im headed to Roehl training 3/20

I'm not on the road, I'm in school right now.

I'm a book learner. I went through the High Road here and I didn't find the tests too difficult at the DMV because the High Road will DEFINITELY help you be prepared. I did all 6 tests in a couple hours and the lady at the DMV was surprised I passed everything on the first try. So study the High Road training here and the permit will be a breeze for you.

Driving/gear shifting/backing. This apparently requires some muscle memory and coordination that I don't yet have. I have had some hard nights, but I'm determined. You CAN do this. I'm getting a little better even though some nights are better than others.

Expect it to be hard. Expect to get discouraged. But realize that you're learning something new. Don't be too hard on yourself. Be polite to your instructors and ask questions when you don't understand things. My instructors are not at all shy about telling me what I'm doing wrong. It is a man's world and they may treat you a little like one of the boys if you do something boneheaded. But they are also willing to help me if I ask about things I'm confused about.

I had never shifted gears in any vehicle. I truly suck at it still, but it's getting better little by little. I practiced with a plunger this weekend. I hope when I drive tonight (we were on the range last night) that I will be able to tell a difference. We will see.

The pre trip...memorization. We were given a 10 page document to memorize, but a lot of it repeats and a lot of the phrasing is the same. I have also learned a lot of the parts under the hood and such that I had no clue about. I am working on it and I even made voice memos on my phone so I can listen to parts of it at work. I'm going to do this and you can too if you want it bad enough.

You have to want it and apply yourself. This is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. No kidding. I'm 52 and have 4 kids, so that's saying a lot. It is a big challenge, but it has already made me realize that I'm tougher than I thought, which is a really, really good thing.

Part of it is I'm working and going to school. If you don't have to work through school, it will be easier, but it can be done either way.

Study hard and do your best and don't beat yourself up about things you don't know before you even start. You can do this!!

Good luck!

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Kori M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm trying to get a handle on the pre trip as well. Just all the correct wordage. I am currently on a greyhound bus headed to prime inc in Springfield Missouri right now. Should be there around 5:30 pm tomorrow night. So excited but I'm getting more and more Nervous as I get closer.

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