CDL Skills Test Passed Today, Second Time Around

Topic 20718 | Page 1

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Truckin'Rey's Comment
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Today was attempt #2 at the skills test and I'm glad to report that I passed. My first attempt was last Thursday, September 7th, at 10am. The pre-trip and air brakes test went without a hitch. My backing maneuvers, straight line and offset, Were just as practiced, no problems. Then came the parallel parking. My approach was good, my angles seemed to be smooth, and I thought for sure this would be just another day for me as it was in the practice yard. Unfortunately as I backed the trailer into the box, I stop and take a look outside my driver side mirror expecting to see the rear left cone, my trailer is sticking outside the box to my left and there's no cone in view. Thinking I pushed my trailer in too shallow and my drive tandems in too deep, I pull forward and left, out of the box, then turn right to regain my angle. As I attempt to push the trailer back into the box I hear the first of many whistles during that brief attempt at parallel parking. Either my trailer was in too deep, or my tractor encroached the cones, and I never regained the proper angle. The box was getting smaller and smaller after each passing minute, until the last whistle and the tester came around to the drivers door. Hoping she was going to miraculously pass, but knowing the obvious truth, she said, I'm sorry to inform you that you have exceeded the number of points on your maneuvers and you must come inside to reschedule your test.

Fortunately I was able to reschedule my test for today at noon, due to a last minute cancellation from another driver for the same slot. Otherwise it would have been another month before the next available appointment at the DPS (DMV, in Texas).

I took the opportunity to come in on Sunday and practice my parallel parking for a few hours. The director of our CDL school met me out there and he went over my mistakes in detail, then showed me how to properly recover from them. During my drives in training I learned how to parallel park almost immediately and had not made any mistakes, which was a major reason why I wasn't able to get out of the jamb that I put myself into last Thursday.

Today was much different and my thought process and maneuvering execution was much more methodical and not so much fluid in motion. I was nervous, to say the least, but I put into practice what I had learned the day before, had one whistle blown at me but It didn't stop me from putting her in the box, perfect on all sides. The drive portion was performed with ease and upon re entering the test site, sticking the rig in neutral and setting the parking brakes, a huge sigh of relief came when the word, "congratulations", left the testers mouth and flew into my ear.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Feanor K.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats man! Great feeling isn't it?

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