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Failing at backing and driving at Truck Driving can I ever make it as a driver?

Topic 20216 | Page 2

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Susan D. 's Comment
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One full revolution of your wheels is about 8 feet. I hope that helps.

Don't give up because you can absolutely do this.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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One full revolution of your wheels is about 8 feet. I hope that helps.

Don't give up because you can absolutely do this.

OK, that just confused me. Please explain.

confused.gifthank-you-2.gif

Dan R.'s Comment
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Some of the best drivers on the road failed their tests at least once, while some of the ones you'll probably end up screaming curse words at from the safety of your cab aced them. Don't let not passing one test get you down, there's always a next time.

Robert F.'s Comment
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I nailed the alley dock reversing during my CDL test, only got out once to check if trailer in end box, yet I struggled with offset parking and even though I passed and got my CDEL during the road test I missed gears, I brushed the trailer wheels against a kerb (luckily instructor didn't notice cos I think this would be a fail), at the end of the test the examiner said it wasn't pretty, but passed me. Fact is we all have strengths and weaknesses, my own is changing and finding the gears but I think the examiner was generous on the day and could see I was overall a safe driver. From someone who has just gotten their CDL, the best tip I can offer when reversing is do it slowly then you have plenty of time to make corrections when you see the trailer going the wrong direction. Also keep the angle between cab and trailer as shallow as you can by starting your turns early, especially with alley docking. Remember when reversing, Righty Tighty, i.e. turning the steering wheel to the right will bring the rear of trailer in towards you, Lefty Loosely, away from you, OR when you turn the steering wheel travelling in reverse, the trailer will turn in the same direction as you turn the BOTTOM of the steering wheel (as opposed to the top when driving forward). Years ago I learned to fly and the instructor let me go solo after 4 hours, you will not be allowed on the road solo in a truck after this short space of time, this says a lot about how much there is to learn but you will get there, stick with it! Now comes the hard part for me, finding a job!!!

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
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Robert F wrote:

OR when you turn the steering wheel travelling in reverse, the trailer will turn in the same direction as you turn the BOTTOM of the steering wheel (as opposed to the top when driving forward).

This is some very good advice for another reason...working from the bottom of the wheel (with your elbows on your side) will reduce the tendency to over-steer requiring an opposite and equal correction. Limiting the extremes of steering wheel input will help "clean-up" your backing and slow the process down so you can see what is happening with smaller bits of steering wheel input.

Blakowt's Comment
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GREETINGS ALL,

When I was in Truck Driver Training School in Goodlettsville, TN., in late 1998, I LEARNED a few things of which I had zero ideas about and they helped immensely in going forward as well Backing. Alley docking, 45 & 90 degrees, is useful in some locations yet I've rarely used it yet occasionally give those movements a go when there's Plenty Of Room.

Shifting (manual) seems to be going the way of the Dodo bird (extinct), which is sad yet that's the way it rolls, so No Worries Mate.

USE ALL AVAILABLE ROOM FOR SET UP!!

Backing is the biggest challenge for everyone as well the biggest chance for accidents.

There is absolutely NO REASON TO RUSH when Backing as such inevitably causes problems. People blowing horns and other noises only slow me down and I then do multiple G.O.A.L.'s whether or not needed. Trucking of today, other drivers seem not to want to WAIT till you're done and will pass whether or not you are done, so just relax and continue with your movement as you are able. There ARE Drivers, like myself, that will BLOCK travel from my side to ALLOW Drivers their Backing movements and many times both directions are BLOCKED, like in the good ole days. NO ONE can "back in their sleep" although some Drivers at many locations appear to BE asleep (because of hitting vehicles (cars, trucks), poles (Light, other), buildings (Guard posts, outhouses, etc.) trash bins (cans, dumpsters, lot lizards, etc,).

Backing in Training Schools gives Students ideas about how it is performed and like has already been stated, there are no "measuring sticks" used in the Real World nor are there "penalties" for as many NEEDED forward movements to be correct in Backing performance. Schools, for no known reason, have their goofy limits in Combo movements. I generally do at least 3 pull ups on every Backing Movement, more when/where REQUIRED. Every Location is different and You Are In Control! (Take a few DEEP BREATHS to) RELAX, (Matters NOT where you are so) TAKE YOUR TIME, (Do Not Rush so) GET OUT AND LOOK!

MANY locations will be challenging and I'm still challenged Daily because when WE think we have nothing to LEARN, it's time to park the Truck! For Me, EVERY BACKING MOVEMENT IS BACKING 101, regardless of how many times I've been to a specific location. --I currently run 10 wheel Day Cabs with 53' Trailers and it's BACKING 101.--

YOU Will Do WELL!! Breathe, Relax, Take Your Time!!

CHEERS!!

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Maybe this will make more sense. The outer circumference of your tires is about 8 feet. If you move your truck (either forward or backwards) and your tires make one full turn.. say you back up and your tires make one revolution and you stop at the same place on the tire that you started from, you have traveled about 8 feet.

Sno-boy's Comment
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Do you practice in a huge barren lot with no reference points only cones? I couldn't even get close on offset or 90 degree alley until we left the huge rock practice lot with nothing to use other than tiny orange cones for boundaries. Instructor by design took my group to the actual test facility with streets, curbs, trees and other visual stimuli and I almost did a perfect 90 degree alley on my first attempt. The lack of reference points was making me almost suffer from vertigo or something like that on the practice pad I think. I passed my 3 skills required 2 weeks later with 0 points deducted. P.S. I never could master the practice pad even 2 days before finals but would nail the actual test course for 2 solid weeks on virtually every attempt.

I have been 2 weeks at a truck driving school and my backing and driving is not looking good at all. Next week the class takes CDL test and if we pass CDL they hire us as drivers. I passed written test on first try easy and I found the pre-trip easy. After 3 days I had pre-trip and in-cab memorized easily. Memorizing a bunch of material and passing book tests is the easy part, driving is the hard part for me.

Our school evaluates us before we take our CDL on our skills and tells us if we flunk or pass. I flunked the driving and backing evaluation at school :( About half the students did very poorly on the evaluation; they failed or were very close to failing. I got two college degrees and was working as a Computer Technician at my old job before I decided to try trucking, but I feel really stupid in trucking school and feel like a failure.

Family members are thinking I should give up and go back to my old computer job. I haven't even taken the CDL driving test yet, but the backing and driving evaluations the school gives all their students before they take the CDL is not looking good at all. I have a very hard time judging distances. The instructor will tell me bring the truck within 2-3 feet of this cone I have a very hard time eyeballing distances and will bring it 4-5 feet instead. He will say move 6 feet behind this line. I can't just eyeball how much 6 feet is. Instead of it being 6 feet it will be either not enough like 4 feet or too much like 8 feet.

So I don't know what to do. Should I withdraw or wait it out and at least give myself a shot at the CDL exam and see what happens. I feel so discouraged. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

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.
Matt T.'s Comment
member avatar

Well although I failed on my backing evaluations during trucking school they had me take CDL test anyway and on test day and I passed ! I finally managed to get it right. Passed everything on my first attempt at the CDL. Failed the backing evaluation at school 3 times in a row before test date. I didn't want to move test date back and decided to take test anyway and hope I would fix errors and nail it on test day and I did just that. Got a 89 out of 90 on my pre-trip inspection , backing I got 6 points but still passed, and my driving I think the most allowed to get was 30 points and I think I got like half that so I passed. Took me 17 days from not even having a permit to getting a CDL so I am happy.

The backing instructors make it harder at the school so even though students may have difficulty at school it will be much easier for them on test site. At school we are backing on a hill slanted and they move the cones in to make it harder to back. They did mention to me that backing would be a lot easier on the actual test site since it is flat and they were right.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Matt that is fantastic...huge weight removed from your shoulders. Congratulations...! All the best.

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