Profile For Derrick M.

Derrick M.'s Info

  • Location:
    Sanford, NC

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    3 years ago

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Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Sorry guys, bad news. I had to miss class last weekend because I was really sick. Unfortunately, missing those hours combined with also having to miss hours this past Friday and Saturday due to a work emergency, I'm over the limit of hours I can miss. It sucks, but I'm going to try again next semester. May even look into some training somewhere else. Not really sure yet. But I haven't given up! Just a temporary roadblock!

Thanks to everyone who was following along and helping out. I'll be back!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Day 15 - Sunday, October 3, 2021

I was late for the first time today. Only 5 minutes, but that counts as 15 minutes on our total time. We are allowed to miss 39 hours for the course. I had to leave early today due to personal reasons.

Today was just another Sunday on the yard all day, rotating through the stations. I believe some of the stations are going away for next weekend though. We are going to start working on the alley dock, and a 1000 foot straight back I think. So the yard is going to be changed up.

Still bummed about my driving yesterday. Shouldn't let it eat at me like it is, but I know I can do better than that. After thinking about it a lot (too much), I really think I may have had my seat too far up. I think that was screwing me up on my clutching. Or, I'm just trying to come up with an excuse :)

Oh well, hopefully next week is better. There's a lot of rain in the forecast for next weekend, so I'll get to add that to the mix! Should be fun!

Sorry not a lot to talk about, it's just been more of the same. Plus since I left early today, it was a shorter day. And honestly, between working during the week and doing this on the weekends, my body needed to leave early. It's been over a month without a day off and I'm starting to feel it for sure. Physically and mentally wearing me out. Going to be taking a day or 2 off from work in the next couple of weeks just to get some rest and reset.

Thanks again for following along. More next week!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Day 14 - Saturday, October 2, 2021

Wasn't scheduled to drive first thing in the morning like I have been in previous weeks. So started the day on the yard doing the forwarding/obstacle course drill. Trying to get that nailed down before testing. Other than getting my trailer tire to hit the yellow paint next to the tire (curb), I think I've got it down pretty well. I keep missing that paint by about an inch!

For my 4th day driving, I was paired with an instructor that I haven't driven with yet. I've worked with her in the yard, but not behind the wheel. She's really cool, but she doesn't hold back and will let you know how she feels! Which I respect. What followed was my worst day of driving since I've been here. I don't know what happened. I kept missing gears, couldn't come of the clutch smooth, kept forgetting what I needed to do....just a complete cluster. The more I messed up, the worse I got. I couldn't wait for it to be over. When we got back to the school, I told her that was the worst I've driven since I've been here. I thought it was worse than my first day! She downplayed it and said it wasn't that bad. Said I was doing better than most in the class and not to worry about it. That being said, I wasn't happy with myself at all. Serious blow to my confidence. Bothered me for the rest of the day. I can't believe I was that bad!

Finished the day back in the yard. Worked on some coupling, trying to get the steps for that test down and in the proper order. Simple stuff, just need to memorize all the steps in the order they want them done. Did a little bit on the straight back station and then drove the course again a couple of times. Nothing of note to really discuss. Getting better at all of that, just need to keep doing it.

The rest of the class voted to come in an hour earlier tomorrow so we could leave an hour earlier that evening. So instead of coming in at 8am, we are starting at 7am. That's all fine and good for everyone else. I have an hour and 15 minute drive to get there though! So now I have get up around 5am instead of 6am. Blah...not a morning person! Oh well, it is what it is. I'll survive.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Day 13 - Friday, October 1, 2021

Classroom night. Went over defensive driving techniques. Watched a couple of videos about it as well. Had another recruiter come and talke to us as well. This one was from Covenant He gave us the fastest recruiting spiel I can imagine and then left. Felt like he had somewhere else he would rather be and was in a hurry to get there. Basically just read to us what was in their little brochure he gave us and that was it. Nothing about them really peaked my interest.

Nothing else about tonight to talk about!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

I have never, ever heard of downshifting this way. It is completely counterproductive to rev the engine up in order to slow the speed of the vehicle. The only way I can think this would be useful would also involve the engine compression braking (Jacobs brake), where the higher RPMs are an asset.

Just to clarify, we are holding the RPM at the required shift point. Not at a higher RPM.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

I thought maybe I was misunderstanding, but the instructor in the truck with us will literally say out loud, "Hold the rev, hold the rev, hold the rev..." while you are doing it. I've even been "dinged" on my evaluation (we get a short eval after each drive) for not doing it every time. It's not easy to hold it there! What you described is exactly how I would think it would need to be done and seems to be the way I've read and seen it done everywhere else.

Obviously I'm going to do it the way they tell me to. I'll definitely be asking in class Friday about it and try to understand why we have to do it that way. I'm assuming they have some reason to teach that way.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

View Topic:

NC Truck Driver Training School

In my school, this is how we are taught to downshift:

- Check the RPM and clutch to N

- Press the accelerator to rev up to the required RPM (dependent on the operating range of the truck)

- HOLD the rev at that RPM

- Clutch to gear while still holding the rev through the entire shift

Now, every video I've watched and everything I've read is basically the same except for holding the rev through the shift. Everything else says/shows just tapping the accelerator to get the revs up and then shifting when you catch the RPM you want as it drops. In other words, not holding down the accelerator. I hope I'm making sense?

Is there a reason we are being taught this way? Is this the "proper" way?

Just curious everyone's thoughts. I'm going to ask about it at this weekend's class as well.

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

I have a question regarding downshifting. Should I ask here or would it be better to start a new post?

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Day 12 - Sunday, September 26, 2021

Same Sunday schedule as usual, all day outside on the yard. Thankfully it wasn't quite as hot as it has been. Still hot, but not as miserable as the last couple of weekends.

More of the same for me today. Started with some pre-trip stuff. Then drove the obstacle course. Only part of the obstacle course that is kicking my butt is on one of the 90 degree right turns where you have to get your trailer tire to go over a 12 inch (I think?) painted spot. I'll try to explain... So right at the 90 degree turn, there is a tire laying on the corner of the ground to simulate a curb. There is a painted yellow stripe about halfway around the tire on the ground, sticking out about 12 inches. Your goal is to get your trailer tire to go through that yellow paint without hitting the tire. The idea is getting as close to the "curb" without hitting it. If you don't hit the paint, you lose points on the test. I don't think I've hit the paint yet. I miss it by an inch almost every time it seems! It's kind of an ongoing joke now about how I can possibly keep getting so close and not hitting it. Guess I'll get it eventually!

I then did some more backing. That's still coming along. I want to say I'm getting the hang of it, but next week I wouldn't be surprised if I can't even come close. So I'm just going to stay with... I'm improving.

Worked on the coupling station more today. Not hard to do, but for our test we have to complete a set of specific steps in a certain order to couple and uncouple within 10 minutes. I can do all the steps no problem, just need to work on memorizing every little step they want us to do and the order and make sure I do it quickly. I'll get there.

We went back in the classroom for the last hour or two of the day. Which was a welcome change to just get off the yard for a change. We had to finish up some more of the classwork that we didn't get to on Friday and we also had our first written test. I think I did fine on it, nothing hard.

Also, the class size is now down to 8 students. We started with 11 signed up, but 1 hasn't been at all. So it's really been 10. One guy didn't show up at all last weekend and then again this weekend. That puts him over the 39 hour limit, so he's out. Another lady has had to drop out due to her work schedule. Hopefully everyone else can stick around! But I get the feeling we'll be losing a couple of more before it's all said and done. Either by their own choice or by the school's choice!

More next week! Thanks for reading my babbling!

Posted:  2 years, 7 months ago

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NC Truck Driver Training School

Day 11 - Saturday, September 25, 2021

Road driving day! Started the day driving first in my group with the instructor. Had a different road instructor today than I've had the other times. Nothing wrong with that, different teaching methods, different personality, etc. You never know what style of teaching you'll "click" with, so it's good to not always have the same instructor I think.

I drove for an hour and 15 minutes or so again. Nothing new really, still just getting used to the truck. Working on upshifting, downshifting and skip shifting mostly. Also tried to make sure I got more right turns to practice. I drove all over the place... In towns, in the country, small 2 lane roads and 4 lane highways. Getting exposed to lots of different things which is good. I just wish I could drive longer. Seems like that hour-hour and a half just flys by too fast!

I felt I drove well. Shifting is coming along fine. Just overall starting to feel a little more relaxed and not quite as nervous. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not getting so relaxed that I'm getting complacent! I'm on my toes the entire time for sure.

Things I need to work on... Making sure I watch the tach on every shift and holding the rev on the downsift through the entire shift (which I have questions about actually). Obviously I need to work on everything, these were just the things pointed out to me.

After driving, it was back to the yard for the station work again for the rest of the day. I helped another student with her pre-trip for a while, which in turn made for good practice for myself. I feel comfortable with the pre-trip. I'm not anticipating any issues there, just lots of memorization.

Next I went to the backing station. Still just straight line at this time. But I'm getting a lot better at it finally. I can get it in without struggling too much now. Still need to work on getting it in the hole more straight though. I keep getting crooked right towards the end of the back. But it's coming along. My brain and body are starting to actually work together instead of fighting each other!

Finished the day driving around the obstable course a few times. We started timing each other since we'll have 5 minutes to complete the course on our test. I've been between 3:30-4:00, so I think I'll be ok there. Still not hitting anything or having to reposition any, so I'm getting better and better at the obstacle course.

Back at it tommorrow!

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