Jim Palmer Cdl Training

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, I definitely need to relax and just stay calm. I'm sure if he didn't feel comfortable with us driving, he wouldn't have us out on the road so I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and practice hitting the right gears.

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Just relax and breath. You got this.

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Yes Aaron, good advice, try to relax. Easier said than done, right? It's a lot to take-in on day 2. Try also not to be too hard on yourself, shifting is the second most difficult skill to master.

Without being next to you not sure what you are doing to cause the grinding; but here is some basic advice (I was a rookie once too, so I kinda know the usual suspects). Try not to rush (or panic), use a 1 - 2 count to maintain rhythm in your shifting. Second, realize if you push the clutch in too far, the clutch brake will start to kick-in and completely throw off your shifting. You only need to tap the clutch when shifting. Push it all the way in when you are stopped. Quick taps, "pop-pop". Third, you might be down-shifting at too high of an RPM, let the R's come down to between 900-950 before you attempt the down shift. If you miss a shift, recovery is important so that you are not free-wheeling greater than the length of your truck. You'll get it...everyone starts out a bit shaky on this.

I do like the sound of your instructor, the "Nike" approach to teaching; "just do it". Good luck, have fun and be safe!

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, I can up shift pretty decently. Me and my classmate ride together and I'm the only one taken on the highway so far out of us two. But my downshifting comes and goes. I can hit a few and miss a few. I was given some advice, to push gently till it pops in, I kept trying to force it in and if it doesn't go in I pull it back out into neutral, so I need to practice that but yeah. I'll have my update later tonight after dinner! Again that's for the advice, it all helps so. I appreciate it.

double-quotes-start.png

Thanks, I definitely need to relax and just stay calm. I'm sure if he didn't feel comfortable with us driving, he wouldn't have us out on the road so I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and practice hitting the right gears.

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

Just relax and breath. You got this.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Yes Aaron, good advice, try to relax. Easier said than done, right? It's a lot to take-in on day 2. Try also not to be too hard on yourself, shifting is the second most difficult skill to master.

Without being next to you not sure what you are doing to cause the grinding; but here is some basic advice (I was a rookie once too, so I kinda know the usual suspects). Try not to rush (or panic), use a 1 - 2 count to maintain rhythm in your shifting. Second, realize if you push the clutch in too far, the clutch brake will start to kick-in and completely throw off your shifting. You only need to tap the clutch when shifting. Push it all the way in when you are stopped. Quick taps, "pop-pop". Third, you might be down-shifting at too high of an RPM, let the R's come down to between 900-950 before you attempt the down shift. If you miss a shift, recovery is important so that you are not free-wheeling greater than the length of your truck. You'll get it...everyone starts out a bit shaky on this.

I do like the sound of your instructor, the "Nike" approach to teaching; "just do it". Good luck, have fun and be safe!

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

This is such a helpful and supportive site.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Yes it is. Without this site I wouldn't be as far along as I would. Definitely has helped me in so many ways.

This is such a helpful and supportive site.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

Great to hear. Looking forward to your updates.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Day 3- we arrive, sit down and start working on pre trip. Just covering everything we can, after we finished. He took two out and me and rob went out to the tractor and practiced the pre trip. By that time it was almost 11am and we needed to go back to the dot place and switch over our cards to the Montana ones. They finally get back and we head on down to the office and take care of it. When we got back to the terminal it was lunch time. They got fried chicken and a bunch of sides with chips. Pretty good food so far. We head into the classroom and sit down, Shannon tells us some stories from his past and then the head of safety came in to talk with us.

After he finished with his safety talk me and rob head out. We are the first to take the trailer so I'm a bit nervous but I'm keeping my cool. Shannon drove and was just showing us angles to use so I was paying attention like crazy. Rob went first and he struggled big time trying to get it into gear. But overall he did an okay job for only having 45 mins the day before of experience.

Well now it's my turn, I slowly let the clutch out and was a smooth take off and Shannon is always saying good job and giving us positive vibes. I guess to keep us from getting down and messing up. I hit my gears going up pretty decently from time to time it may take me a little longer to pop it into gear but I can do it. But downshifting is still coming along, I hit a few in a row and then miss a few. I know the concept and I'm just trying to apply it and do it successfully, all in time right? We were in town, making lefts and rights and again he had only me get on the highway. Not sure why but I wasn't complaining. I enjoyed getting through the gears. We head back to the terminal and let the other two jump on and try out pulling a trailer.

We did some pre trip, talked with other drivers and waited on the other guys to come back. Once they did we found out when our trainers will be picking us up. They said it may change, because wel it's trucking. Haha but mine eta is for Monday. Two of the guys are set for tomorrow so we may be down a couple people. Although my roommate is scheduled for Tuesday, which is cool. Gives us more time to hang out and study some pre trip together.

Overall the experience here at Jim Palmer is going well for me, I'm enjoying it. I didn't think I could handle the fast pace environment but I'm adapting okay, just need to get them downshifts down and I'll be a little less frustrated with myself. Tomorrow we get to practice backing. I'm excited and I've played ats and ets trucking games on pc. So from one of the drivers who just passed and got his cdl license today, said the games actually helped him with backing. So I'm hoping it translates over for me, if not I'll have some help. And I'm sure I'll need the help regardless. Anyways. Day 3 in the books and I'm glad I made the choice to get my cdl! I'll check in tomorrow guys. Gonna get some sleep.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

You seem to have an attitude for success. You'll do great.

Matt H.'s Comment
member avatar

Just started reading your diary here. Congratulations on getting started in school!

As a fellow big man who is working on getting in better shape, the medical was a big chunk of my anxiety. Getting that out of the way has me sleeping like a baby (for now). I am still waiting on confirmation of my start date for school, so I have to live vicariously through your posts at the moment.

Backing from video games will translate. Every once in a while you see some of the experienced drivers on this forum actually suggest practicing your backing with a toy truck. Seeing the way a trailer reacts when the front moves one way or another gets you past a big mental hurdle. We don't naturally want to think that turning left causes a trailer to go the opposite direction, especially when seeing it through a mirror. If you have already gotten your brain used to how the steering wheel movements can affect the trailer, you are a big step ahead of someone coming in with nothing as a reference. Just remember to take it calm, think it through without rushing, and to step out frequently in the beginning to walk around and see where you are at as you are backing.

Keep up the positive attitude and, when looking at something like shifting, remember that all it takes is time and repetition. Your brain just needs more input (doing it) and time to wire itself so that you eventually do it without having to think about it. Hope you get an awesome trainer and keep updating this as you keep moving towards a full CDL and being out of training.

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.
Stewart A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Aaron, I just noticed where you were from. I've been through your area many times on my way from NH to my mom's in Harpswell and to see my son in college up in Orono. He is out now and living in Bangor. Anyway congrats on all the success you have had so far and for nailing the down shifts in the near future. I know you can do it.

I too use ETS2 and ATS pc simulators. They are great but of course don't help with the shifting. But the first and most important thing to accomplish is like what John and Martha King teach new pilots, "Just don't hit anything". Everything else is secondary. But you'll get all of those too, one thing at a time or maybe even in bunches. Good luck and safe driving!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, I'm sure the 3 weeks I'm out with a trainer the shifting will be a breeze. Maybe a few hiccups here and there but I'll be leaps ahead from where I am today.

Just started reading your diary here. Congratulations on getting started in school!

As a fellow big man who is working on getting in better shape, the medical was a big chunk of my anxiety. Getting that out of the way has me sleeping like a baby (for now). I am still waiting on confirmation of my start date for school, so I have to live vicariously through your posts at the moment.

Backing from video games will translate. Every once in a while you see some of the experienced drivers on this forum actually suggest practicing your backing with a toy truck. Seeing the way a trailer reacts when the front moves one way or another gets you past a big mental hurdle. We don't naturally want to think that turning left causes a trailer to go the opposite direction, especially when seeing it through a mirror. If you have already gotten your brain used to how the steering wheel movements can affect the trailer, you are a big step ahead of someone coming in with nothing as a reference. Just remember to take it calm, think it through without rushing, and to step out frequently in the beginning to walk around and see where you are at as you are backing.

Keep up the positive attitude and, when looking at something like shifting, remember that all it takes is time and repetition. Your brain just needs more input (doing it) and time to wire itself so that you eventually do it without having to think about it. Hope you get an awesome trainer and keep updating this as you keep moving towards a full CDL and being out of training.

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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