Range Driving and Road Driving Semi Trucks at CDL School

by Scott.P

Its been a few days since I posted and I just wanted to fill you in on how my week is going at Central Refrigerated driving school. After the classroom was done last week we started yard work, which includes straight backups, offset backups, parallel parking and alley docking. We also tested on our pre-trip inspection and of course trailer hookup.

The program is really good. You learn a lot, but with the big class size you do not get alot of time driving on the road. We go out each day and drive for one hour per student and we have four students in the truck, so you are gone for four hours and drive for about one. The rest of the day is spent in the yard doing practice backups. We had 4 trucks in the yard so I usually get 3 or 4 turns. Here is the week in a nutshell:

Monday - Yard work (backing, etc) one hour of shifting practice.

Tuesday - Yard work, one hour of practicing turns in the industrial park

Wednesday - Yard work, one hour of city driving

Thursday - Yard work, mountain driving, and practice testing on pre-trip inspection of the truck and trailer.

Friday and Saturday - practice road tests and backing tests - which includestraight backups, offset backups, parallel parking and alley docking

So it is fast paced, but fun!

The way the school works is on a "three strikes and you're out" policy. If you fail the pre-inspection, strike one, if you fail it again strike two, then if you take the backup test and fail the first time, strike three and you go home.

Well today was good for me, I did pass my pre-inspection and I did pass my alley dock and coupling. So I just needed to pass my road test and backing tests and I will get my CDL on Monday. Then we have a three day orientation and go on the road for 28 days with a trainer. Then it's back to Central Refrigerated for a hiring interview and hiring tests, and then I will be employed with the company!

Well time is running short and I must go. Have a great day and I hope this helps!

Take Care

Scott

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.
by Brett Aquila

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