I Need Some Opinions On What I Can To Get My Backing Where I Need It To Be.

Topic 11216 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Perkdaddy's Comment
member avatar

Hey folks. First of all, let me say that I absolutely LOVE this forum. Very informative and entertaining. Now, a little background on what is going on with me. I started CDL school back around the middle of September. Typical format, 4 weeks/160 hours training. First week was preparing you for permit test, which I passed with a 95%. Second week started the skills and pre-trip. Pre-trip came easy for me, and I was helping my classmates with theirs a lot of the time. Now, the bane of my existence..SKILLS!!! I had never backed any kind of trailer before. I was an IC in my own cargo van for about 10 years, and also drove 28 foot box trucks fairly often and never had any trouble backing those, but this concept for the big rig is not coming easy to me.

So, long story short, i got my test dates moved back several times, and yesterday took the CDL test for the first time. Got a 95% on the pre-trip. Straight line back was really good, offset (blindside) was a little rough, but I got it with a couple extra pull-ups. Parallel parking screwed me and I pointed out. I can drive forward very well, took right to the double clutching , both up and down, and the instructors say I will have no problem passing that part.

Now, since I have went past my 4 week session, the school I am going to has kind of de-prioritized my training due to new classes coming through. The old problem of not enough instructors, not enough trucks or space. So, most days I drive 130 miles round trip, set for 8-10 hours, and most days I am lucky to get a 1/2 hour to an hour to practice, some days none. I definitely need more than this.

So, I am flat broke, need more truck time, and have no clue how to go about getting it. I live in a little town called Augusta, KY, which is about 40 miles from Cincinnati. Does anybody here on the forum have any ideas on what I could do to practice more without costing me money that I definitely don't have? Not saying that I couldn't spend some money for fuel for a truck, but definitely can't spend another 4000.

I already have pre-hires for 4 different companies, need to get this damn thing ASAP. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Backing a trailer is one of those skills that is counter-intuitive to what we experienced driving a car or straight truck.

When I was learning, the biggest mistake I typically made was applying too much steering wheel. Long trailers respond far slower to wheel input than you are expecting. So without really seeing how you are approaching the backing maneuvers, try less over-steer. "Walk" the trailer back and watch to see how it responds and how long it takes to respond as you make only minor "left for right" and "right for left" adjustments to the wheel.

Reality it took me about 6 months on the job to really master backing into tight spots and even now, on occasion there are times when I stop mid-back and ask myself "what the ___ are you doing"?

There are many really good threads on this subject. In the upper left corner of the webpage, there is a search bar. Type the words "parallel parking", press enter and there will be several links on backing that will provide additional information.

Good Luck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Get a toy semi from Walmart. $12 is a good investment.

On a table top you can watch how the trailer moves as you back it up between two pencils. You need to steer the front end and adjust how the trailer goes in, just like the real one.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Get a toy semi from Walmart. $12 is a good investment.

On a table top you can watch how the trailer moves as you back it up between two pencils. You need to steer the front end and adjust how the trailer goes in, just like the real one.

Thanks Errol...forgot about that...the memory thing again!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Worst case, you have your permit so you could apply to a company sponsored school to get that additional instruction on your parallel and offset. Some companies will even pay you while you are in their school. I know you just attended school, but you're needing a bit more skills practice without more $ out of your pocket. What school did you attend? If you go the company school route, obviously you'd have a commitment to work for them for about a year.

Perkdaddy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies fellas. I will definitely go look for the toy truck. But still, if I am not gonna get time in the truck, it is almost impossible for me to get better. I am miles ahead of where I started, but 1/2 an hour a couple times a week not gonna cut it. So I feel like it is pointless for me to retest, until I can get some solid hands on in. Oh, and I have read just about every backing thread on here, and watched tons of the youtube content. Has helped, but still not there yet

Perkdaddy's Comment
member avatar

Worst case, you have your permit so you could apply to a company sponsored school to get that additional instruction on your parallel and offset. Some companies will even pay you while you are in their school. I know you just attended school, but you're needing a bit more skills practice without more $ out of your pocket. What school did you attend? If you go the company school route, obviously you'd have a commitment to work for them for about a year.

I am attending Lake Cumberland school in Mt. Sterling KY. Just too many students to the amount of instructors and equipment.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies fellas. I will definitely go look for the toy truck. But still, if I am not gonna get time in the truck, it is almost impossible for me to get better. I am miles ahead of where I started, but 1/2 an hour a couple times a week not gonna cut it. So I feel like it is pointless for me to retest, until I can get some solid hands on in. Oh, and I have read just about every backing thread on here, and watched tons of the youtube content. Has helped, but still not there yet

Maybe a dumb question, can you request additional time on the practice range? After all you are a paying customer!

Skar Hed's Comment
member avatar

You're probably going to feel the same way after you've been hired and out with a trainer for a month or six weeks. What would have helped me was a few hours a week in a big empty lot just backing up into nothing to see how the truck actually reacts to your input on the wheel. But there was no incentive for my trainer to spend his time that way and will probably be none for yours either. As far as backing at shippers and receivers, if you are decent at it, a trainer will probably let you do it as often as you like. If not....not. So the people who need the practice the most get it the least.

When I was sent out solo I was woefully unprepared and I knew it. Dreaded what I would find for a dock or a space at the next stop the whole time on the road. The good news, finally, is that after about two months that feeling was gone.

Try sliding your tandems all the way back when backing when you can. This at least gets rid of the big trailer overhang and you can focus mainly on the position of your back wheels. It helped me.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Give Cindi or Don a call and see what they might be willing to do for you. They have earned their excellent reputation by training successful drivers for over 10 years.

I am also attending a special private cdl session of weekend only classes with Lake Cumberland CDL sponsored by my current employer. We had 4 canceled classes (2 weeks worth for us) due to Labor Day weekend and Cindi's mom's death. We also have a glut of students from the 1st class who aren't ready to test who are in our way and need to move on. I don't blame the school for that one... I have some very challenged coworkers who just might not be truck driver material and took forever to pass their permit tests and still couldn't find a waterpump or compressor under the hood if you slapped them with it. I'm NOT saying this about you. I'm just saying you might have had something similar come up with your classes.

Were any classes canceled by them? Did you attend each and every class and did you stay the full day? How many students, instructors, and trucks did they have for your class? Do you feel like you got all of the time that you paid for? See where I'm going with this?

All you can do is ask. Which instructor taught you offset backing and parallel parking? Some of their instructors are much better than others.

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.

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

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More