Totally Amazed By Some Of The Newbie's...

Topic 22242 | Page 2

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Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Before the test you have reference points and set lines to start from. you only concentrate how to get it in that particular box.

OTR i show them angles, and tell them where trucks around us are messing up. Yes i was that bad that a couple of customers threaten to take my door for other drivers and i paid a lot of yard dogs to drop it in for me. i teach them which spots to look for and which to stay away from.

i never want my students to be that frustrated.

OTR:

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.

Key City's Comment
member avatar

I finally got to try out my backing skills today! I’ve driven on the city streets of Chicago for about 4 hours. I kept thinking, when am I going to get to start backing up?

Today was my chance. I got called to a flatbed truck at school. At first I kept hitting the lines and wasn’t straight at all. I kind of figured this would happen when I first signed up for classes. I was over correcting way too much and kind of going too fast in my opinion. Then a student who I was assigned the truck with, who is about to take his exam told me to ride the clutch to slow down. He started helping me figure out if I was straight to begin with before I started backing. I felt like I started getting the hang of it.

The instructor started talking to me after and he said I had a great attitude about the whole process. He was saying that people start yelling and get frustrated like the instructor is supposed to teach us. They can only give us advice with what we’re doing wrong and it’s up to us to keep practicing and figure it out. I can’t wait to get my 19 more backing hours in!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Wow, Key... You actually get 19 hours of backing practice? Every new permit holder should be so lucky!

I got to do a parallel 4 whole times before I took my CDL skills tests.. was never taught to alley dock since that wasn't required for testing, a straight line (which believe it or not, if everything is straight, it requires nothing but reverse) and an offset.

I was probably as bad as rainy when I started driving and it took me daily practice time (during my 30 minute break) plus necessary docking to finally get it. I do quite well these days but every now and then I'll have a horrible day lol. We all have those on occasion.

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.
Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Not to be rude, but some people just don't realize how good they can have it. I had a shortened CDL school. I actually tested for my CDL BEFORE I graduated. I only spent 2 weeks with a trainer before I was in my very own truck. I had 2 1/2 days off the weekend in between and spent 1 day of the second week waiting on my trainer's truck to get service done. You learn what you can, then figure it out on your own. It isn't rocket science. The concepts are fairly basic. It just takes doing it to refine your skills.

I see being a trainer more about teaching how to be effective in this job. Make sure you can keep it between the mustard and mayonnaise. When it comes to backing, make sure you can do that without hitting stuff. Once you understand how to manage your clock, route plan, send messages, and show you aren't going to hit anything, there is not much more to "teach". The rest is about refining your skills as you go. I am here to make sure you can get the job done. Not to make you a master driver.

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.
Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar
He was saying that people start yelling and get frustrated...

I got frustrated and yelled all the time while in CDL school, however, all of the frustration and yelling was directed towards myself. I kept yelling things at myself like, "Dammit Unholy get that damn thing in the hole!" When I finally nailed the back on the first try, I was so ecstatic I was literally jumping for joy as I was walking to the end of the trailer. Every other failed attempt after that was something like, "Come on man... you did it yesterday, do it again!" Honestly, I still yell at myself everyday for not being able to hit an easy back, thinking I'm making myself look liked a damned fool (but I've got a Schneider trailer so people just expect me to suck anyway haha).

Point being, it is frustrating at the start; just remember to breathe and take a break from the driver's seat every so often to cool down if you're able.

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.
Key City's Comment
member avatar

Yes. We get 20 hours of road driving, an hour at a time. 20 hours of offset backing, straight line, and parallel parking, an hour at a time. You just keep pulling up and back up as many times as possible in that hour. Then you sit in the passengers seat and observe another student for an hour. We kept taking turns every 20 mins so it didn’t get boring or overwhelming.

Sometimes they will mark you down for more hours. When you catch it you just complain that your not getting your moneys worth and they fix the “error”.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I am going to throw this out here, something to munch on.

Once the brain locks on the concept of left is right and right is left,...it becomes all about the reps. Nothing can take the place of practice or the time invested in doing it.

When I was taught there was basic instruction and then several "guided" backing attempts. After the initial conceptual instruction and demonstrations, I wanted to be left alone to figure it out. At least for me, I don't like having my "hand held" or someone barking in my ear every couple of seconds; "too much left".

Once in the Road Training phase, I can only recall a couple of times when my mentor offered instruction...but it was after the fact, as a critique of what I did right and where to improve.

I took it upon myself to practice every chance I had...looked for opportunities for another rep.

The "450 attempts" number I referenced yesterday; since 3 of the 6 months was on Walmart it accelerated the learning curve substantially over conventional OTR. 5-6 backs per day was and still is average. Point being I likely got a years worth of practice in 6 months.

Just keep one thing in mind,...we all struggle with this in the beginning. However it's up to you to get and find the time to practice. No substitute.

OTR:

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.

Ryan O.'s Comment
member avatar

I understand where you are coming from. I had seen enough on the internet and listening to other drivers that were friends of mine. I already knew what I was getting into. I brought everything I needed for school and extra. I came to the school with my permit and medical already. I watched many people be turned around or walk out on the first day. Mostly because they were short ONE piece of paper or didn't like what they heard.. That means they traveled from where ever out of state and came here to just "find out".. Then I watched many people continue to fail the pretrip and not even get range time or drive time 3 weeks into school.. "I didn't know we had to do this".. I already knew because I read several diary's on the school I went to. People act like its nuclear engineering classes. Just study and ask questions.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I understood the opposite direction concept. my problem was learning the angles and how long to hold it. i always wound up in the wrong door...and i still cannot always do a cool u turn into a straight line. i often have to pull.up further to get it right.

oh well...i get it in and don't hit anything hahaa

Dead Money's Comment
member avatar

The rest of your backing skills you will develop once you go solo, and that takes several months to a year to become even halfway decent.

They risked their lives, give up their personal space, and take on a huge pile of responsibilities helping you get your career underway and for all of that you show no appreciation whatsoever?

I don’t see running solo as something that will occur with this company. They have you go from training, to team, to trainer, all in 6 months.

Everything the trainer gives up or risks, the trainee does as well, and the trainer is financially well compensated for it.

I felt at risk because the trainer was constantly speeding (hard to imagine that in a truck governed to 62mph) and constantly had the cell phone in his had while driving.

While “sleeping” the curtain was closed, so communication was rare. I say sleeping in quotes because I heard a lot of phone calls to what sounded like girlfriend(s). When he was driving, again curtain was closed, and phone calls continued.

Also, I was assigned strictly to the top bunk, even while he was driving. I now know that was against company policy, if not outright illegal.

As for others “knowing” how much training I received because I passed my cdl , that smacks of some serious arrogance. Without knowing what tests I passed, and what knowledge I had before entering the school, you can’t possibly “know” how much I was taught.

Straight back was simple about keeping the tractor in front of the trailer. What they didn’t teach in that section was keeping the truck centered between the cones.

Offset, and parallel was about seeing the proper cones in the mirrors, turn until you see the right amount of landing gear in the mirror, then getting the tractor in from of the trailer.

The only thing we got with alley dock was to jackknife the truck until the tandems stopped rolling, then keep backing while straightening the truck.

First time I tried to alley doc with my trainer, he freaked out thinking I was about to break his truck, while I was just waiting for the tandems to stop rolling.

His teaching was to put me into remote control mode, but nothing about why each turn was made. I was supposed to magically know what he was looking at.

The only “practice” time I received was when I arrived at a destination (truck stop or customer) while he was still sleeping. Again against company policy, since I wasn’t supposed to leave the interstate without supervision.

Now I’m assigned to a team truck, where I can produce miles, but parking is an adventure, since almost all legal parking places are filled, and those not filled require more skill than I possess.

So to get 30 min breaks, I find myself as one of the masses on the side of an onramp. Transition from driver to driver tends to happen at the fuel island.

As for safe driving, I’ve got 30 years of LA driving under my belt without a scratch, or a ticket. Patience, and defensive driving skills I’ve developed on my own.

If anything, my misconception is not realizing in trucking, parking is the Wild West, where anything goes, and time is the only currency that matters.

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".

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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