Finished My OTR Training

Topic 20645 | Page 1

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Matthew K.'s Comment
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Did 2200 miles on my week training. The average is about 1300, so I'm feeling really good about that. My backing has improved, my shifting is better (still needs work, though), and my stamina throughout the week suprised even myself.

On the very first day, after about 30 minutes, the trainer mumbled about this being a good week. When I asked why, he said that I was leagues ahead of his last student. Now, I did have a couple hiccups along the way (I rubbed a couple curbs that I easily could have avoided), and my shifting would alternate between seamless and bbbbbbbrrrrrrrrgggggggrrrrrr clunk, but overall it was a great week.

I take the company road test this week, wrap up some paperwork, then off to Columbus to get my truck!

Blue Zombie Trucker's Comment
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Congratulations! Keep us posted... 😀

Matthew K.'s Comment
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First day back in the truck at Charlotte, everything was great until backing. I set up poorly, and wound up tipping over a cone :( Shouldnt be a problem though, I know where I messed up and can correct before the test. Not even sure why they have the cones, the spot is normal size between two dropped trailers. The cones actually make the spot a few feet narrower than normal.

G-Town's Comment
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Matthew wrote:

Not even sure why they have the cones?

Because this...

...the spot is normal size between two dropped trailers.

... there really isn't a "normal" size between two dropped trailers. As an example I had to flag a spotter to pull a trailer out of it's space yesterday because there was no more than 6" of space available to crank the landing gear. Twiggy couldn't have squeezed between them. There really isn't a fixed distance/width, anything considered normal. You should (over time) be able to comfortably drop a trailer on a 45 degree, sight-side setup in a spot no more than 10'6" wide. Just keep in mind the actual CDL backing test will likely be into a space with the cones set 12' apart, giving you a larger margin of error. The cones are closer together now as you practice, to give you a worst case scenario. A scenario that you will soon face frequently in the real world. Normal is a relative term...expect everything to be tight.

Backing is tough...no doubt about it. We have all experienced what you are going through...it will eventually click.

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.
Matthew K.'s Comment
member avatar

First day back in the truck at Charlotte, everything was great until backing. I set up poorly, and wound up tipping over a cone :( Shouldnt be a problem though, I know where I messed up and can correct before the test. Not even sure why they have the cones, the spot is normal size between two dropped trailers. The cones actually make the spot a few feet narrower than normal.

Update: I learned afterwards that driving that day WAS the test. My instructor passed me despite the cone incident, because he said it looked to him like I knew what I was doing.

So now just one more day of classes and paperwork, then I get my truck in Columbus on Monday/Tuesday.

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