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CDL Training - Approaching Test Day

by TruckerMike

Thursday and Friday of last week we were preparing ourselves for the upcoming tests we have this week. We're trying to jam in as much driving time as possible to get us well prepared. Basically, all day we just rotate from the yard to a road truck. I'm definitely nervous about the tests coming up, but I know I'm well prepared. I'm consistently driving very well on the road and my yard skills are well within passing range. I'm also about as well prepared for the "pre-trip" exam as I can be. So as long as I don't make any dumb mistakes or fold under the pressure, I should be an official CDL-A holder by the end of this week. Man, this training went by fast!

As some of you may have read in Bretts Blog, I got a bit of bad news last week. My number one choice of companies who I had a pre-hire with and an orientation date scheduled, has cancelled all orientations and are on a total hiring freeze until at least April 1st. This was a major downer. I put a lot of time and research into this company and decided this was the best company for me. I'm not going to sit around and wait for them, so I've already accepted a position with another company and am set up for orientation with them. However, the company I am set up for doesn't have the greatest reputation around, so I've blasted out about 10 applications and am hoping to get pre-hires from a few more companies. We'll see what happens. It's not a matter of getting a job, it's just a matter of getting a job with a company I feel is a good fit for me. I also want to go with a refrigerated carrier as I think they will be the most stable during this economy. People still have to eat!

We will start off the week doing as much driving as we can. Then on Tuesday, we will take our pre-trip portion of the exam and maybe get started on the yard tests. Wednesday will be moretesting in the yard anda few of us might take our road tests.Thursday will be finishing up the road tests. While I don't expect this to happen, if I should fail any portion of the exam, I will get 2 more tries to retake it. After that, I must wait 30 days to retake the tests. I feel that I'm above par compared with everyone else in my class, so I'm hoping that as long as the pressure doesn't get to me, I'll be completely done by mid-week. It's going to feel so good having this behind me! I'm ready to hit the road and start making some money!

Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and words of encouragement. I'll be sure to keep you posted on how my tests go!

Until next time, drive safely.

TruckerMike

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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

by Brett Aquila

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