One Week From Today...

Topic 13075 | Page 1

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ChickieMonster's Comment
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I'm scheduled to take my DOT test one week from today. If you had asked me 5 weeks ago if I thought I would be ready, my answer would have been HECK NO!! But now... I can see this becoming a reality!! I've got to get my alley dock down (only done it once but I understand the idea and the angles, just a matter of practice) and I've really gotta work on my downshifting (grinding gears sets my teeth on edge and I'm still learning to juggle doing 18 things at once) but I think I'm gonna make it!

I'm not going to say it's been easy, because it's not. Most definitely not. Every night after school for the first two weeks, I came home and told my husband "I don't think I can do this!" But today we went out on the highway with the 40 mph wind gusts and my first encounter with heavy traffic at stoplights and I was able to handle it. Kept it in my lane, didn't hit the school bus in front of me and handled it! Even though I killed the engine on an entrance ramp, all in all I think I did good.

My point it, I've put blood, sweat, and a whole lotta tears into becoming a truck driver, and today I see the dream coming true!

Wish me luck...

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sam the Wrestler's Comment
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Good luck!!!

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Best of luck! You can DO this!

Rick Dees's Comment
member avatar

Congrulations, you can do it! The alley dock is tough, especially the 90 degree dock which is what we had to do. I just got my CDL and did fine..its amazing how much you concentrate during the tests, good luck ..you got this!!

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The hardest backing you'll do is fit your CDL skills. After that they're all just PITAs.

You have the right attitude, you'll do fine. Just focus on the driving, don't worry about the examiner.

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.
Jason F.'s Comment
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Very best of luck to you!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Best of luck!

And a sobering word of caution......schooling is the easy part. It doesn't get really tough until you have to do that stuff under real life circumstances. Right now it's like you're practicing your parachuting technique on the ground with friends while sipping on some ice tea and listening to tunes. When you go up and some stranger opens that airplane door and tells you to jump for real, on your own, you won't be taking much comfort in how well you did practicing your techniques on the ground because this is a whole different world now!

smile.gif

The reason I bring this up is because the schooling is indeed quite difficult and when it's over a lot of people feel like, "Well thank God that's finally over. Now I'm an official truck driver and I can just drive!" They kind of relax and think the worst is over. Unfortunately the schooling is 50 times easier than being on the road those first few months so just prepare yourself mentally for a long, challenging road ahead. Getting your CDL really only means that now they can legally throw you into the fire and see if you can take the heat.

I think a lot of people that drop out of trucking could have handled it perfectly well if they had understood just how difficult this career is and for how long. Those first 6-12 months are one long rookie mess. Every driver in the country makes one silly rookie mistake after another or gets stuck in situations they don't know how to handle for quite a while. It's frustrating and at times terrifying. But you have to work through it. There's no other way to learn.

So go get em! Just try to relax and enjoy the process as much as possible. Don't get too focused on any particular goals like getting your CDL or going solo as if they're a finish line of some sort. There is no point you can get to where suddenly you're a trucker and things will get easier. It's just a matter of constantly learning and always moving forward. Look at things like getting your CDL, getting out on the road with a trainer, and going solo as waypoints in the journey.

If anything I would focus on getting to that one year mark. Again, it's not a finish line, but at that point things will have gotten quite a bit easier as you've shaken out the rookie cobwebs during that first year.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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