I Need Major Help (In CDL School)

Topic 20688 | Page 1

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UpNorthTrip's Comment
member avatar

I need help I can't do any manuevers (Straight Line,Offset,Alley,Parellel etc) It is so frustrating.

The trucks my school using has way more than 10-20 degrees of steering wheel play (they equipment is beat down and we training on gravel/dirt not pavement)

I'm almost at that tipping point I am so mad at myself and not getting the help I need my instructors pretty much SET IT AND FORGET whether u making mistakes or doing good they too busy on their phones not giving us any pointers,tips,tricks.

Any help on this would be appreciated

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

First breathe. Relax. We all have problems. School equipment sucks. It gets beat up by all the newbies and they only fix what is 100% needed.

What are your specific problems?

When backing you are driving the trailer. Your head should be moving back and forth looking at your trailer wheels in both mirrors. Don't linger to long in any one mirror. Go slow and keep moving. Watch what other people are doing. Make small maneuvers.

Some people get a toy truck and practice with that to see how the trailer reacts to truck inputs.

I hope that helps.

Diver Driver's Comment
member avatar

We've ALL been there. I couldn't get straight line backing either. There is a reason why they start you with that, before moving on to other manuvers. They will all give you trouble in the beginning.

Just take a deep breath and relax. (Easier said than done, I know)

As it was stated, keep your eyes moving back and forth. Make small corrections, (1/4 to 1/2 a wheel turn at a time) before you need to make big corrections. (As soon as you think you see the trailer drift, make a small correction) It is just a matter of practice practice practice. My CDL instructor had a WONDERFUL habit of waiting until you pressed in the clutch before engaging you in a conversation, while you held in the clutch.... Talk about your calf feeling like it was going to explode....

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.
UpNorthTrip's Comment
member avatar

Well specifics what one instructor who just started said I'm thinking too much,oversteering,my reaction time is too slow,I have to unlearn driving a truck as if its a four wheeler amongst other things but I keep asking can you show me the points I need to be hitting I kinda already knew if I couldn't SLB the hell with the other maneuvers.

They keep saying 12 o clock,3 o clock,9 0 clock. The way they teach is just not clicking with me they just yell on the cb radio when it looks like u gonna crash the damn truck.

When I turn the steering wheel left the trailer swings right, when I turn it right the trailer swings left ,I keep drifting to a side,my steering wheel is never straight 12 0 clock is not actually 12... Etc

And now my left leg has the absolute worst charlie horse ever

First breathe. Relax. We all have problems. School equipment sucks. It gets beat up by all the newbies and they only fix what is 100% needed.

What are your specific problems?

When backing you are driving the trailer. Your head should be moving back and forth looking at your trailer wheels in both mirrors. Don't linger to long in any one mirror. Go slow and keep moving. Watch what other people are doing. Make small maneuvers.

Some people get a toy truck and practice with that to see how the trailer reacts to truck inputs.

I hope that helps.

UpNorthTrip's Comment
member avatar

Going thru that right now my left leg is freaking numb!

We've ALL been there. I couldn't get straight line backing either. There is a reason why they start you with that, before moving on to other manuvers. They will all give you trouble in the beginning.

Just take a deep breath and relax. (Easier said than done, I know)

As it was stated, keep your eyes moving back and forth. Make small corrections, (1/4 to 1/2 a wheel turn at a time) before you need to make big corrections. (As soon as you think you see the trailer drift, make a small correction) It is just a matter of practice practice practice. My CDL instructor had a WONDERFUL habit of waiting until you pressed in the clutch before engaging you in a conversation, while you held in the clutch.... Talk about your calf feeling like it was going to explode....

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.
Kat's Comment
member avatar

The trailer is going to move the opposite of the direction you steer. Think o steering your trailer like pushing it on one si e or the other...turn TOWARD the problem. If you see it drifting toward the driver side, steer left to "push" it the opposite way. Reverse for the passenger side.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I need help I can't do any manuevers (Straight Line,Offset,Alley,Parellel etc) It is so frustrating.

The trucks my school using has way more than 10-20 degrees of steering wheel play (they equipment is beat down and we training on gravel/dirt not pavement)

I'm almost at that tipping point I am so mad at myself and not getting the help I need my instructors pretty much SET IT AND FORGET whether u making mistakes or doing good they too busy on their phones not giving us any pointers,tips,tricks.

Any help on this would be appreciated

UpNorthTrip, some of us look like complete buffoons when we first set our hands on the wheel of a Big Rig, it's okay. Here's the deal: Part of learning something new is learning that you absolutely don't know what you are doing. So many people go into truck driving with the false notion that this is going to be easy. "I like driving a car, why not make some real money just by driving a truck?" There is no comparison between the two, and it is actually a good thing for the instructors to sit back and let you realize that you know nothing before they try to start helping you get the concepts down that will help you learn to drive a truck.

Remember, when they get you to the point of where they think you are ready to take your driving test, you will probably be in here begging for tips from the pros because you are going to be thinking, "There is no way that I am ready to go take that driving test!" I have seen this scenario played out in here a thousand times or more. You have already determined that it is all the schools fault that you are not learning anything. Look at what you said...

The trucks my school using has way more than 10-20 degrees of steering wheel play (they equipment is beat down and we training on gravel/dirt not pavement)

I'm almost at that tipping point I am so mad at myself and not getting the help I need my instructors pretty much SET IT AND FORGET whether u making mistakes or doing good they too busy on their phones not giving us any pointers,tips,tricks.

Let us count the ways they have failed you:

1) The trucks are beat down

2) The steering has too much slack in it

3) The driving surface is insufficient for your liking confused.gif

4) The instructors are not helping you

5) The instructors are not paying attention to what is going on

6) The instructors are pre-occupied with their phones

7) The instructors are not giving you any pointers or tips and tricks

So, you have barely scratched the surface of this career, and you are already "almost at that tipping point."

I'm gonna tell you a dirty little secret. Often times the instructors are testing everybody at the beginning to see how you react to stressful situations. The type of people who just fly off the handle and over react to a few difficulties do not usually make good truck drivers. Trust me they are paying attention a lot more than you think they are.

This whole career has a very difficult starting point to it. Schooling and training are very stressful. You should spend some time reading over in the training diaries section of our forum and you will get an idea of what I am talking about. Some of us do better than others, but if you will read with understanding, you'll realize that those folks who seem to have an easier time of it during training kind of have this Zen type coolness about them that lets the trying stuff just roll right off like water on a duck's back. Being able to keep a cool level head when nothing seems to be going right is critical to success at this stuff. That's why the others have suggested that you "Breathe." You are getting yourself wound up tightly when you need to stay calm and take the approach that says, "I absolutely know nothing about how to do this, but I am capable of learning it."

One of the things that surprises people about truck driver training is that they just expect the teachers to be able to tell them just exactly what to do and then they will be able to make all these complicated maneuvers in a big truck. When the instructors are thinking that there is no way to explain all this stuff to these greenhorns in a way that they can comprehend it. We are just going to have to let them get in that rig and try doing these things a few times and some of them are going to start catching on as to how this all works. Once we have got the light bulb starting to go off in their heads, then we can start giving them some pointers so that they can get it at least rough enough to pass the driving test.

That school will never make you into a truck driver, and neither will your first employer. The only person who is capable of turning you into a competent truck driver will be looking back at you in the mirror every time you go to brush your teeth. So start now to realize that it is not the fault of the school, their beat down trucks, their lousy instructors, and certainly not the gravel/dirt surface you are driving on that are keeping you from succeeding at this. There is one person responsible for you learning this stuff, and that same person will be responsible for you being successful at this or not. That one person has got to focus on "How can I get this done? What must I do to make this happen?" Once you can answer that within yourself, you are on the road to success.

Good luck my friend!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I was bad about oversteering right at first.. many people are.

Next time you go to do your straight line back. Put your elbows sticking into your sides and steer only enough to steer with your wrists. Only move the wheel a tiny bit and keep those elbows dug into your sides. Sounds crazy I know but just try it once or twice. It works. Once you realize how little you have to steer to straight line back you'll be dying laughing and you'll have no problem with that. If you do begin to drift, turn the wheel towards the side you see more of your trailer in the mirrors... The problem side. Think little short crocodile arms lol.

I had an instructor that showed us for a straight line, once you're lined up straight, the truck will literally steer itself. He got the truck straight to go into the box, put it in reverse, laid his seat all the way back, put his hands behind his head, closed his eyes and said, wake me when we are through the box.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

Before you can even think about progressing to any other backing maneuvers, you've got to master the straight line back.

To master the straight line back, repeat this strategy in your mind at all times: "look for, and steer toward, the trailer tires". That will keep the trailer going toward wherever it is pointed.

Dave

I need help I can't do any manuevers (Straight Line,Offset,Alley,Parellel etc)

UpNorthTrip's Comment
member avatar

Guys I did all the maneuvers this morning I'm starting to understand how the tractor and trailer moves I'm starting to feel comfort confidence is still shot but I'm ok the more I do it I know I will get it.

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