CRST Expedited Trucking School and training program Cedar Rapids, IA. A (re) training diary by millionmiler24

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Sweet Jimmy's Comment
member avatar

G-Town is solid on every bit of advice I've seen him give. And I agree with him yet again, after just going through it, I'm sure nerves are the big deal. Just get chilled out somehow, one thing that helped me was the realization that I'd done the same thing every day for 6 weeks, and the test was just another run through it.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

06/30/2017:

Today was the usual mumbo jumbo: up at 0420 for breakfast then on to the first shuttle to NADTA. I got a practice road run in this morning with an instructor and it went amazingly well. I was a LOT CALMER than I have been the last couple of days. I did have a cup of coffee this morning (sorry OS, I know I said I wouldn't but I had to wake up.) to help me wake up but just ONE, not TWO like the last couple of days. It was out of my system come road test time. They weren't doing road testing tomorrow so I opted to take my road test today. They scheduled me for 1500 to take my test. I was ready. My examiner this time was a very nice, sweet young lady that came to help out with testing from the DMV. I told her I was a little nervous but I sure hope to give her a good drive through the route. We got into the truck and she asked me the procedure for the railroad crossings and a CMV. Then she gave me the usual speech letting me know that I am responsible for the SAFE operation of that vehicle at ALL TIMES. Ok. Right before I take off, I asked her, do you have a specific preference in what gear I take off in because NADTA's instructors that are Iowa DOT Tier 1 Examiner certified want you to take off in 3rd however she didn't care what gear I took off in because its DOT not NADTA so to me anyway (and I may be wrong on this, but the DOT examiners are more forgiving than the instructors) it was easier for me to take off in 4th because I have an Empty trailer. Ok after this, we get going. She runs me through the route. I literally explain to her EVERY maneuver I do in that truck to let HER know I am in FULL CONTROL of that vehicle at ALL TIMES. The lead instructor at NADTA gave that to me as a tip today. He said to talk out your maneuvers EVERY step of the way. That trick worked because it kept my mind active and made me not be nervous at all. I even explained to her what went wrong with me on the first 2 attempts of that test and let her know where I made mistakes. When I did my practice, I figured out from another one of the experienced students there that I wasn't breakin down far enough before my downshifts, thats why I was grinding gears a lot and with the double clutch method that is a DOT requirement, you have to get those RPMs SPOT ON to be able to smooth out those shifts. Anyway, we get to the first turn out of the yard that got me. I took that one out of the yard in 4th and turned MIDWAY in the road and the truck and trailer got through that just fine, no curb hits. Then we get to that infamous double right. Well I prepared myself to knowing when I was coming up on that one and let her know on my first attempt, that was the turn that got me. Well we get there, I explain my maneuver and tell her the regulation and I was into that left most right turn lane. I made that turn smooth (this was on the way back to the yard). Then we get to one of the last two lights and I tell her as I am driving that truck like a PROFESSIONAL that NADTA has really changed my life and how God had led me there and then we get into the yard and park and I set the brakes and let out a big sigh of relief, because I KNEW right then and there that I did NOTHING to cause me to AUTO FAIL again. I asked her if I passed and she said........(drum roll please).......YES, YOU PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I only got 11 points. That was because I ground a few gears but other than that, I was honored to drive with her. I was in shock for a good 45 sec to 1 min. I said Thanks SO MUCH. You just CHANGED MY LIFE. She said no, it was ALL YOU. I was SO RELIEVED. I went to H*** and back and now I survived with a new Class A CDL in my wallet and now today I WAS the VICTOR, not NERVOUSNESS.

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Theres proof I am now an official NADTA Graduate from Class 203 and I now have my CDL Class A in my wallet. To everyone on here that supported me to Brett for starting this site and to ALL the Moderators that help him keep this site going.......From the bottom of my heart, thanks so much for supporting me on here and helping me to the culmination of my dream. I LOVE YOU ALL LIKE FAMILY!!!!! Now, I start orientation on Monday. Brett, question for ya: is it ok if I go ahead and change my status on here to Company Driver in Training or do I need to WAIT until I sign my New Hire Paperwork at CRST? I have ALREADY SIGNED my 10 month contract. Please let me know what you want me to do here. Thanks. Anyway, I am going to close out this update and finally get to go BANANAS 18 SPEED STYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am off the next two days so I doubt there will be any more updates on here unless something major happens here at the training center. My next update should be on Monday. Until then, I love yall, and Stay SAFE out there at ALL TIMES!

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

I have figured out why I passed today of all days: Brett and other Moderators: if you go back and look at my first post about my TX CDL getting downgraded (here is the link to it):

1st Forum Post on here

Find the reply on that topic (its on page 5). It contains the following quote:

As of yesterday, I have now changed over successfully my Florida license to Iowa and I now have the address situation worked out. I have the physical address of the shelter I am staying at on my license and they give me permission to use their place for mail.

Brett: if you check the date on that post, you should find it to read June 7th, 2017. The "yesterday" in that quote is referring to June 6th, 2017. That was the day I changed over my Florida License to a Iowa Class C. Am I correct?

Today is June 30th, 2017. I went from having a Iowa Class C license to a Iowa Class A Commercial Driver License in 24 days. Look at my username on here: millionmiler24.

I think this may be divine intervention based on how God has led me through this process. Now he wants me to become CRSTs next Million Mile Driver. My username and God will continue to lead me on this journey. I got my CDL in 24 days. CDL Class A in 24 days + Next million mile driver at CRST (HOPEFULLY)=millionmiler24.

Anyway, I need to address something in a previous reply on here:

Okay...maybe time for some tough love.

OMG WAKE UP!

Cracking the curb with your steer tire is not nerves and it's not a little mistake either. My take,... you are distracted beyond reason, focused on your nerves, screwing-up, and failure. Negative energy...all of it. Focus...focus, focus on the positive, drive the truck! Your single-minded laser focus can be on nothing else but driving the truck; safely all the way out of the yard, on the road course, and all the way back into the yard until you turn the motor off. F**k the nerves...put your game-face on, block out all the head-trash and do not let anything distract you from driving that truck.

To be clear, the instructor does not want to flunk you...nothing could be further from the truth, nonsense. However when you crack the curb with a steer tire on the way out of the yard, you give them no choice, zero options. You are sending a message to them; "I do not know what I am doing and I am not in control of my rig". I too would have turned you around. This isn't new to you (at least it shouldn't be), why are you having such a problem with it? You drove OTR for 2.5 years??? Right? There is nothing to be nervous about, you know how to drive a truck, this is all review for you. Just drive it.

Stop making promises to us. We are not the problem and should be the least of your concerns, it's all about you and you getting this done. Dig deep my friend, you need to get a grip on this situation and stop back sliding. Maybe the solution is to step back; get your head straight, re-evaluate, deep-breath, and get a days worth of practice to regain some confidence before you subject yourself to yet another test.

I am not trying to be mean...but coddling you, telling you it will be okay? It ain't working.

G-Town.....Thank you sir for this advice. I ran all of this through my head during my road exam today while I was talking out my test with my examiner to help calm my nerves and it did help me to WAKE UP and go get this. I promised you all I would get this and I did. I owe you a lot for helping me out here. You sir are truly a great service to this site and to everyone else on here. I thank you truly for your support. I really don't think I could have done this today if you didn't truly give me that swift kick in the a** as General Patton put it. Thanks again. I also have another question kinda off topic for ya: Is that you in your new profile picture? If so, Now I know who to look for. If I am ever up around PA or wherever you are runnin your Walmart Dedicated route , maybe we can meet up and I would be truly HONORED to buy you lunch one day. Do you ever get around to York PA? If so, I could get you one of the best steaks east of the Mississippi at a nice restaurant called the 83 diner. I would love that. Brett, I think you need to make G-Town 2nd in command on this site. In other words your right hand. He surely deserves it. I would be HONORED to nominate him for that position.

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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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Minnis B.'s Comment
member avatar

Great job man. I've been following along daily and just knew you'd get it. I passed my road test today as well with 6 points. Those nerves will def work you over like Rocky Balboa if you allow them. Again, congratulations!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Millionmiler! Fantastic news! Job well done!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Very happy for you and glad my words helped you out, but in the end you got it straightened out, did the work and succeeded.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, appreciate the gratitude. Brett has a good support team here, just happy to be part of it.

And yes that's me in the photo. York PA? I occasionally deliver to the Walmarts there...been a while though. I run Jersey quite a bit now, longer runs with 4-5 stops, better money.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Great job man. I've been following along daily and just knew you'd get it. I passed my road test today as well with 6 points. Those nerves will def work you over like Rocky Balboa if you allow them. Again, congratulations!

LEGENDARY GRATZ on your CDL.

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NOW YOU CAN GO BANANAS 18 SPEED STYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its funny you mention Rocky Balboa. I am currently listening to Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor which was the main theme to Rocky 3.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations Millionmiler! Fantastic news! Job well done!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Very happy for you and glad my words helped you out, but in the end you got it straightened out, did the work and succeeded.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, appreciate the gratitude. Brett has a good support team here, just happy to be part of it.

And yes that's me in the photo. York PA? I occasionally deliver to the Walmarts there...been a while though. I run Jersey quite a bit now, longer runs with 4-5 stops, better money.

If we ever meet up there someday I would be HONORED to buy you lunch one day at that 83 diner. Jeez now I AM CRAVING a good STEAK!

rofl-1.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Congratulations Millionmiler! Fantastic news! Job well done!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Very happy for you and glad my words helped you out, but in the end you got it straightened out, did the work and succeeded.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, appreciate the gratitude. Brett has a good support team here, just happy to be part of it.

And yes that's me in the photo. York PA? I occasionally deliver to the Walmarts there...been a while though. I run Jersey quite a bit now, longer runs with 4-5 stops, better money.

double-quotes-end.png

If we ever meet up there someday I would be HONORED to buy you lunch one day at that 83 diner. Jeez now I AM CRAVING a good STEAK!

rofl-1.gif

I appreciate the offer. Thank you.

millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Congratulations Millionmiler! Fantastic news! Job well done!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Very happy for you and glad my words helped you out, but in the end you got it straightened out, did the work and succeeded.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, appreciate the gratitude. Brett has a good support team here, just happy to be part of it.

And yes that's me in the photo. York PA? I occasionally deliver to the Walmarts there...been a while though. I run Jersey quite a bit now, longer runs with 4-5 stops, better money.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

If we ever meet up there someday I would be HONORED to buy you lunch one day at that 83 diner. Jeez now I AM CRAVING a good STEAK!

rofl-1.gif

double-quotes-end.png

I appreciate the offer. Thank you.

You are so welcome and consider it done as soon as I start making some money here at CRST and can get up that way.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Congrats man! And congrats to Minnis too!

dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

Now you're seriously moving up in the world at a rapid pace. Like you said, it was barely a month ago you had a Florida license and hadn't even started school. Now you have your CDL , your contract is signed, and you'll be on the road before you know it.

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you focus and put your mind to something. Keep at it. You know life on the road is a roller coaster. Just try to keep an even keel, enjoy yourself all you can, and don't sweat the small stuff. The most difficult of times teach the best lessons and develop the strongest character. Embrace the challenges and be thankful for the opportunities. I'm sure you'll continue to make the most of the opportunities you're being given.

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.
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