Profile For Benji

Benji's Info

  • Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO

  • Driving Status:
    Preparing For School

  • Social Link:
    Benji On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    4 years, 12 months ago

Benji's Bio

27 Year old getting into to OTR truck driving a bit early in my life, I wanted to see the country and this seems the best way to do it while actually getting paid.

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Posted:  4 years, 11 months ago

View Topic:

New Podcast From "The Road Home" - Why Is CDL Training Done In Such A Rush?

Thanks for the heads up on training. Are there any simulator programs, games, we can use to practice backing, unhooking trailers, etc? Maybe even something we can do with a real car?

I know it's not anything official, but American Truck Simulator is $19.99 and has good physics but is not designed for training specifically, only a game (although truck/gas prices are accurate, and you work towards O/O which is actually pretty neat, I don't usually like those types of games). I picked it up a few weeks ago when steam finally gave me a refund for a god awful bait-and-switch game and i used it on that.

I didn't think it was realistic enough at first regarding the drop and hook and trailer details, but there is an option for advanced trailer hookup that does require you to be very accurate. Unfortunately you never actually get out of the truck to lift the landing gear or hook up cables, that's all automated (and animated so at least you know what's happening) but I'm sure we all know to do the basic stuff (or will come CDL training).

It's only the west coast region of Nevada, Arizona, and California with the distances condensed by 100x, so a 100 hour trip will actually only take an hour in game - I'm sure nobody wants to play any game consecutively for that long though. Scenery is lacking, even on high settings, mainly the trees and foliage, but there's good detail with the locations you are dropping off/picking up from. Also traffic is decent, although I've ramped up the total traffic to make it more realistic - without it you can merge from an onramp in LA with zero traffic issues, which is NOT realistic.

I know I like to use Peters in game, but they have a few other real life brands as well with fully accurate dashboards, interiors, and exteriors.

With a USB steering wheel it's actually quite nice - you have the mirrors you can adjust, seat positions, and of course collision damage and plenty of backup practice. Multiple viewpoints allow for psuedo-GOAL (top down view of truck and trailer rather than walking around).

I've been using a joystick and throttle cluster as I play a lot of aircraft sims, but they work with ATS too. I borrowed a friends racing wheel to test it out, and it was so much better - although no force feedback.

I looked around for training programs, equipment, and software but these all started at over $500, some going up into the tens of thousands - anything that is more than a month in CDL training school isn't worth it IMO, since you'll likely be provided sims for the school.

For the steering wheel, I've been thinking about ordering either a Thrustmaster T80 or HORI Apex, both at $99.99 with the wheel and 2 pedals. The Trust GXT 288 is $10 cheaper and has a shifter built into the steering wheel base (where it attaches to your desk, not the wheel itself) but I've heard bad reviews for it.

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