I Need Major Help (In CDL School)

Topic 20688 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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Great to hear that, in fact, I am thrilled!

Greg H.'s Comment
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You think you know how to drive a 4 wheeler until you go to trucking school. (I taught my mother how to back, after I got out of trucking school and had some experience driving over the road. She could back before this....)

It's not always realistic to have expectations of perfect roads, drop yards, equipment... it is however pretty much expected to have good, or at least adequate equipment driving over the road , because equipment is regulated by law. But, when you get closer to home, equipment at smaller companies can be a little worn out.

I remember making a wrong turn one night on a dark road (luckily the road was at least straight). But, there is something you don't think about until you *have to do it*, you have no back up lights. All you have are the tail lights on your trailer. So, here I am, 50 to 75 yards down this road that I took a wrong turn on, and I'm having to back up in the dark. I made it, but it's not a situation I was necessarily prepared for in school.

I was in Colorado and the directions giving me to the receiver was this long winded glorified dirt road. So, the only option is to keep driving (without freaking out at whether or not this dirt road is taking me to where I need to go) until I supposedly get to the shipper. Come to find out, I was on the right road.

One night, I had to drop a trailer. The drop was nothing but a small, uneven red clay parking lot. And the only light lighting the whole thing was a 100 watt light bulb (literally). And the back was not an easy straight line back either. It was this stupid, almost jack knife type back into this small space between two other trailers. I hate jack knife backing, they were my Achilles heel.

Another time, I had to deliver in the back of a small company. The only access to the loading dock was this small alley type dirt road, really only wide enough for a car. And there was this small ditch, on both sides of the road, not very deep, never the less, a ditch with a small pass over with a culvert on one side going to the back of the company. I had to put my steers in one side of the ditch to get the trailer in. I didn't like having to do it, at all, but ...... If the ditch had been very deep, I would have never tried it.

These are only a few examples of what trainers are preparing students for. It's very easy to freak out driving over the road and to think that your little world has come to and end suddenly.

Breathe and take it One step at a time, straight line backing is the easy part of trucking.

Just for kicks I'll include this little story. While I was training, my trainer and I went to a shipper , and the only way to get in was to back, for a very long distance down this driveway. So, my trainer was backing, slowly, and said, ' forget this ', he flips the switch on the shifter to put it into, uh, what would you call that, Reverse 1 and Reverse 2?.... anyway, we ended up in Reverse 2. lol, I wasn't aware that you could do that.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Over The Road:

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.

UpNorthTrip's Comment
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Well guys I pointed out on the 90 degree alley dock.

I was in the box but at an angle kept freaking backing.

I was told I should of hard turn right then pulled up to get straight..... Only reason I didn't think to do that was I forgot how many get outs I had left smh.

Now I have to do all of them again Straight Line,Right Offset,Blind Side Parellel and Alley Dock!

My problem is I oversteer,when I over compensate I dont correct it so I be even more screwed smh

Susan D. 's Comment
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The PLUS is that you seem to know what your trouble is. Learn from that and you'll do just fine.

September I.'s Comment
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I just came out of driving school myself. As a graduate I can only really tell you how I learned.

I did go to school on a better yard and trucks, but something my instructors always said was the people who learn on your kind of yard have it a lot harder. Your advantage though is when you you learn in those difficult situations you are going to come out a lot better then the people that kinda got spoiled "like me". For us we had REALLY small yard length, so we had to do our backs in difficult tight squeezes, the benefit to that for us was we can get into tighter spaces now. You will be able to handle a newer truck much better then I will probably. I still grind gears on the ok trucks.

My first suggestion is NEVER give up. Straight back is the first thing you want to learn. Perfect it before going anywhere else. It is the start of or ending of all types of backs. Without it you will be all over the place. Believe it or not it took me and another person almost 3 weeks to get offset backing. I know the other person thought of giving up, but we both have CDL's now. Our instructors did a lot of the same things yours do, on the phone all day and not really watching. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had a whistle to get their attention. However, because they did that we became self sufficient and eventually made it our own.

My second suggestion is too really look at the people who are getting it. Watch their backs, ride with them if you can, take snip bits on how they do it and make it your own. Find the method that works for you, not anyone else! That was the hardest lesson I had to figure out. I let elder students run me over and made me step back a few days in progress.

Third, look up videos if you are visual learner. I looked up a lot of videos from reputable schools and watched their tips and tricks to figure out the best way to do each back. Do Ariel views too it helps. If you have a phone or something, down load a good simi trucking game with the general physics of backing and use that as a way to get a feel of the way you need to back.

Fourth, as my instructors would tell me all the time, "GET OUT OF CAR MODE!" make sure you always start your backs with "truck mode" in mind. Left to go right, right to go left. Offset was a pain because I would revert to car mode and go the wrong way.

You will get it, don't give up on it. Use your situation and take its disadvantages and turn it into your advantages.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

MyNameGoesHere's Comment
member avatar

Going through all this at the same time. It's definitely not easy, if it was you wouldn't need all the extra training and license. Seems the real trick is knowing or having that "feel" of how the trailer is going to move and maneuver. Make every pull up and get out count. It's what they (the instructors) tell me anyway.

I'm pretty sure your instructors are going to want you to succeed even if it seems like they don't. Their success is based on your success. If you're having issues understanding, ask if they can re-explain or re demonstrate it. Knowing what you're doing wrong is key to your success. Your instructors can walk you through every maneuver and tell you when to turn and change directions but, they won't be there for you when you're out on your own. You can't learn how to fix something of you don't know how you're doing it wrong.

Stay positive, don't give up, and just have fun with it.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Greg H.'s Comment
member avatar

My second suggestion is too really look at the people who are getting it. Watch their backs, ride with them if you can, take snip bits on how they do it and make it your own. Find the method that works for you, not anyone else! That was the hardest lesson I had to figure out. I let elder students run me over and made me step back a few days in progress.

Third, look up videos if you are visual learner. I looked up a lot of videos from reputable schools and watched their tips and tricks to figure out the best way to do each back. Do Ariel views too it helps. If you have a phone or something, down load a good simi trucking game with the general physics of backing and use that as a way to get a feel of the way you need to back.

Fourth, as my instructors would tell me all the time, "GET OUT OF CAR MODE!" make sure you always start your backs with "truck mode" in mind. Left to go right, right to go left. Offset was a pain because I would revert to car mode and go the wrong way.

You will get it, don't give up on it. Use your situation and take its disadvantages and turn it into your advantages.

Good advice... fortunately I wasn't completely lost where it concerned backing. I grew up learning how to drive. My dad was good at showing me or letting me do stuff. I was driving a stick shift when I was 7 or 8 years old I think. I probably learned how to back a trailer around the same age. And I remember having the same problems you guys had or are having.

BUT, I was completely lost where it concerned driving a truck, on the most part. I knew nothing. I was learning from the ground up. And it did most definitely help me to watch others. And believe me, I watched intently.

Keep up the good work, you'll get it!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

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