Profile For Jake B.

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Posted:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

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Taking CDL test in 2 weeks, need some help downshifting quickly

Don't skip gears on your state test.

The only time you should be concerned about getting to 5th is when you're turning. When you're stopping, if you're in 7th stop in 7th. Just make sure to put in 2nd or 3rd before you start moving again.

Thanks for the reply. So what would I do then if right when I get off the freeway the light is green and I’m approaching the the light still in 6-7th gear? I can’t come to a stop at a green light and go to 2nd gear, 7th would be too fast so I would have to downshift at least 2 gears within a couple seconds. Maybe I’m just overthinking it, I just don’t wanna fail because of something like that.

Posted:  11 months, 4 weeks ago

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Taking CDL test in 2 weeks, need some help downshifting quickly

So the time is almost here and I am going to be taking my CDL test in about 2 weeks. I am practicing for the test and one area I still have a concern is downshifting quickly before a turn and or stop.

My issue is say when I am getting off the freeway I have a very short distance to downshift to move over into the right most lane for a left turn. Coming from the freeway I’m doing about 50mph when I come to the off ramp. I have about 1 blocks worth or distance to downshift from 10th to 4-5th, I can’t downshift and slow down before the off ramp I have been instructed because that would be considered obstructing traffic. I want to downshift smoothly and I can accomplish this by pressing the service brake hard to slow me enough to downshift quickly but my concern is that I am slowing too much and obstructing traffic which is an automatic fail. I could downshift to say 8-7th in time and then push in the clutch half way and come to a stop if the light is red, but if the light happens to be green and I could go I don’t have enough time I feel to down shift to say 4-5th for the turn.

I have been practicing skipping a gear when downshifting and hav been able to do it, my issue with that is sometimes I don’t slow down enough and I can’t get into the gear I want so I have to go back to the gear I started with and downshift 1 gear which ends up just wasting time.

I would appreciate any help I could get, I want to be as prepared as I can for my test.

Posted:  1 year ago

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Need some help with 90 degree alley dock and offset

I have been practicing the offset and 90 degree alley dock and have successfully completed them but I am just not developing a feel for it. I know it really comes with time and experience but I am getting frustrated that i seem to only be completing the maneuvers by chance than by skill or understanding.

The offset:

Say I have to offset to the right. I turn my wheel all the way to the left and look at my trailer and try to envision when the corner of the drivers side of the trailer is pointing toward the middle set of cones then turn the wheel to straighten the truck to see how I’m angled. 90% of the time the corner of the trailer on the drivers side isn’t even exposing so middle set of cones which means I didn’t cut it enough, or the inverse happens and I’ve cut it too much. Since I don’t have a feel for it I feel like I’m shooting blind and it’s just a 50/50 chance.

Is there anything I can reference or guide to get more consistent so I get my trailer more aligned between the cones?

Now for the 90 degree alley dock:

My main issue is that I am not getting the hang of which maneuver would work best to get the trailer in the set of cones. We are doing the drivers side alley dock so I initially start by cranking the wheel to the right to get a “V” angle then straighten my wheels out. I get the rear of the trailer near the opening of the cones and I need clarification when I should follow the trailer as opposed to keeping the wheel straight.

It seems when I keep the wheels straight the trailer begins to push the trailer on a pivot point. When I follow it the trailer it seems to continue moving backwards and also pivots but does so slowly.

Is there a general sense of when I should use each maneuver: the hard right turn, straight wheel, following the trailer? I feel like that is what is keeping me from successfully doing the 90 consistently.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to list what I was doing so hopefully someone could point what I’m doing wrong.

Thank for the help!

Posted:  1 year ago

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In truck driving school, need some clarification on up shifting and downshifting for test

Thanks for the replies! My instructors do have me double clutch when shifting and I can do that without grinding gears too much. I am still new so I know it comes with time and practice. I am just getting myself worked up about passing the test.

I know one of my problems is when I’m in 9th gear doing about 40-45 mph and need to come to a stop. I either find myself down shifting too early or waiting too long and need to shift down to 6th quickly. My instructors have us downshift to 6th gear then push in the clutch halfway and come to a stop with the brake pedal. I was told that going too slow can be an automatic fail since I would be impeding the flow of traffic so I am just trying to find a balance of giving myself enough time to downshift but also not doing it way too early and slowing traffic.

To avoid stalling out from a stop in say 3rd gear, would I hold the brake pedal and ease off the clutch until I see the tractor lean right, then let off the brake and then ease on the gas while I slowly let off the clutch the rest of the way?

Posted:  1 year ago

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In truck driving school, need some clarification on up shifting and downshifting for test

I am currently attending an 8 week class for cdl class a in Wisconsin and am enjoying it very much so far. We have 1 main instructor but have about a dozen or so rotating instructors that go on the road with us and help us with all aspects of driving.

One point of confusion I am having is that all the instructors give different instructions for up shifting & down shifting. Some instructors say that I can start out in 3rd gear with an empty trailer at from a stop. Other instructors say only start out in 2nd gear. Some say I can press on the gas a little while letting off the clutch when upshifting but others say under no circumstance should I do that.

I don’t want to do anything that will fail me when I take the road test so I was hoping to get some help and information from the community.

1) can I start out in 3rd or even 4th gear when starting from a stop light with an empty trailer?

2) can I skip 1 gear up shifting? Say I am going to make a turn and want to be in 4th or 5th, can I skip from 2nd to 4th or 3rd to 5th?

3) when downshifting, can I skip 1 gear? I am still new so I am not comfortable being in 9th gear and having to downshift to 6th in a short amount of time. I don’t want to impede traffic by going too slow by downshifting too far in advance and fail the test by impeding traffic.

I’d appreciate and help and clarification I could get. Thank you very much.

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