Failed CDL Skills Test For 3rd Time - What Now?

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toonces's Comment
member avatar

I'm embarrassed to post this but today I failed the backing portion of my cdl test for the third time. I can do the straight back, offset & parallel with no pull ups, but on each test I timed out on the alley dock. I practiced it as often as I could but still struggled. I don't know if it's like this in every state, but in OK you will get a straight back, an offset, and then you are randomly assigned either a parallel or 90 degree alley dock. Well lucky me, I've gotten the alley dock all 3 times. I obviously haven't gotten to do the road test yet, but after my last practice drive yesterday the instructor said my driving was good and I should have no problem passing the driving portion. So the alley dock is really the only thing holding me back right now.

So, now I have to wait 30 days before I can retest.

My school used to let people come back and practice for a few days and then make their 4th attempt, but the director told me that there has been a "policy change". He suggested I use a truck rental place. I can't afford that right now since I haven't been working for the past 6 weeks during school.

I'm wondering if I could get accepted to a company-sponsored training program. Is it likely that one will accept me, knowing that I didn't make it through a cdl school? I tried searching the forums and couldn't find anything on this. Thanks 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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would say they would. I don't see why not. You're most of the way there already. All they really have to do is give you enough practice to get through the exam and out on the road you go with a trainer.

I say don't sweat it for a minute. Keep moving forward. If you can't find a way to do it with the school you're at then start calling company-sponsored programs and see what they say.

Listen, everyone hits roadblocks during their initial foray into trucking. For some it's backing, for some it's shifting, for others it's background issues or medical problems. Don't waste five minutes of your time worrying about it. Just keep moving forward. Getting started in trucking is very humbling for everyone. You're in good company, trust me. So forget about all of it, pick up the phone, and make things happen. And of course keep us updated on whatever you decide to do.

smile.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I say don't sweat it for a minute. Keep moving forward.

Toonces, I'm in total agreement on this.

Some of the folks who are relatively new to the forum may not even know that I got rejected and sent home from three different trucking orientations when I was first trying to get started doing this for a second career. Every time I would hit a road block I would look at the situation as motivation to move forward. Don't even let it bother you if possible, just realize that a door got closed and you will find the one that opens up for you as you keep on moving forward. Don't let your setbacks cause you too much concern, almost everybody that tries to get started in this career is going to experience several of them. Each of us has our own unique story that we can share of how we finally got into our very own truck and started a new and rewarding career. Don't let a setback demoralize you, in fact it is the type of people who can face adversity and still come out on top that often make some of the best drivers out here.

Lately, when my DM has introduced me to other people, he will preface my name with, "This is our number one driver, Mr. __________" Now that kind of makes you feel good, but those people that I'm getting introduced to don't have a clue that had I been the type of person to let difficulties hold me back, I may never have even had the chance to prove myself worthy of those accolades. It isn't all that important how well you start in this career. The important part is how well you do once you get in - it's how you manage yourself once you're out here doing it for a living that is important. Hold your head high, and realize that everybody struggles with backing up a big rig at the beginning. One day it will happen for you like it did for so many of us - you'll be doing an alley dock somewhere and something will just sort of go off in your mind so that it all makes sense to you, and you can accomplish it with relative ease each time you do it from then on.

Start filling out those applications, and getting ready for your phone to blow up with recruiters calling.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I agree with the above. Attitude is everything. All your failures in life are the rungs to your ladder of success. You have just finished climbing the first 3 rungs of your ladder that has your CDL on top. Keep climbing. Nobody knows how few or many rungs are in this ladder of yours, but there is a top within your reach. Someday when I am sitting in my first truck I will share my from hell up life story that will wow some. I did once have someone tell me there was no way I would ever get a job in trucking. What I heard was "you can do it.". I love a challange. So, GO FOR IT. good-luck.gifsmile.gif

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.
Bucket's Comment
member avatar

I just got here in Drumright! Check with XPO, they will sponsor and I believe you can attend Central Tech. Sorry you didn't make it to the road. I got to the road twice, but pointed out, and got to many points doing the driver side parallel on Mt third try. I the last student that gets a fourth attempt. Call XPO and ask for Courtney.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Shawn's Comment
member avatar

The test is a little different in MA then where you are. But, if it makes you feel any better, I had to test four times before I got my license.

toonces's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all for the replies. I thought that I would be sorta "blacklisted" after this and not be able to get on at a company-sponsored training program. It's good to hear that I probably have options. And the words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. I was pretty depressed earlier today and reading your comments definitely lifted my mood.

After I posted this I got a phone call from the school director and he asked me to come to his office. He had heard that I had failed the 90 and asked what examiner I had. Turns out, the examiner that another student and I had gave us incorrect instructions on this particular back. While I was in his office, he called someone at the Department of Public Safety and told him what happened and that he thought I should be re-tested because of the faulty testing. So, the guy at DPS is going to check and get back with him tomorrow. I don't want to go into detail about what the examiner said (in case they happen to read this) but the director said they've been having this problem for awhile. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. But the director said even if they don't let me re-test, he's going to let me come back for my 4th try! He also told me to stay in my motel room and come to school tomorrow like normal. This made my day! I just wish I knew someone that drives so I could practice, in the event that I do have to go home and wait the 30 days. But in any case, I'm so lucky for the 4th try.

But like I said before, even if god forbid I fail for the 4th time, it's great to know that I can most likely get on with a company-sponsored program.

Oh and Bucket, I guess I will be seeing you tomorrow!

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
... like normal.

Keep it that way. Just like Coach told the team: It's just another game like we practiced for.

Bucket's Comment
member avatar

I didn't know you had to go until I saw the truck bobtail and going to the bull pen. Sorry you didn't get to stay. I know you had a feeling they wouldn't let you stay. Do you get to come back? Sorry I missed you! Good luck and stay safe.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Jeff B.'s Comment
member avatar

Toonces, I too was embarrassed to announce on here that I failed the backing (alley dock) three times, but there is really no need to be. I had to wait 1-2 weeks in between re-tests with no practice and 30 days after the third time. For me I re-injured my knee, so I have to wait awhile after knee surgery to take it a 4th time. Just because I can't practice and I have to wait awhile to re-test, I called around, and to answer your question if a company paid cdl program will accept you if you didn't pass a private school, the answer is yes. I talked with Knight and Jim Palmer and explained everything to them and they told me that it would not be an issue. I wish you the best, and it sounds like they will let you re-test a 4th time, I am sure you will nail it.

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.
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