Bad At A 10-speed

Topic 15890 | Page 1

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sgtwilldog's Comment
member avatar

So, the way this school works is, you learn on a 6 speed, and then switch to the 10-speed when they decide you are proficient enough on the 6-speed to pass the DMV test. Do a bit on the 10-speed and switch back to the 6-speed a day before the test to brush up.

First, I'd like to debunk the myth that those who never drove a manual transmission will pick this up easier because they "don't have bad habits". I've been struggling the last week and a half on the 6-speed. I have a different instructor every day. Some instructors help me, while others are just blunt, reactive and impatient.

Anyway, I can't blame the school 100%. Obviously I'm picking the **** up slower than others. But, now the 10-speed transmission is shot (probably from my mere 3 hours of experience on it) and I won't be graduating with any proficiency on it.

So, next Friday I will (hopefully) graduate and have a CDL-A, contributing to their 100% graduation rate.

My question is, do any of you who work with any of the mega carriers know if they will hire a new CDL grad that cannot drive a 10-speed and will work with me on it? Schneider uses a 10-speed in their orientation and will just ship my ass back home when they realize I still need a lot of training on 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.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

You REALLY gotta not be able to shift a 10-speed to get them to send you home. I've watched guys get a lot of chances.

My experience was that the trucks Schnedier has you driving in orientation are a gazillion times better than CDL school.

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.
sgtwilldog's Comment
member avatar

You REALLY gotta not be able to shift a 10-speed to get them to send you home. I've watched guys get a lot of chances.

My experience was that the trucks Schnedier has you driving in orientation are a gazillion times better than CDL school.

What do you mean by chances? Does it mean they will test me a few times, or will they no-kidding work with me for 3 days straight. Pretend I know nothing and need real instruction.

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.
Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Understand a lot of people that pass their cdl test can't shift for crap. Missing gears and grinding gears are very common on the road test, they just look for you to recover quickly and not to impede traffic.

Even in the team training phase after I got my cdl I still shifted like crap for awhile, and would do bone headed stuff like try to take off in 9th instead of 4th.

When you start putting in 10 hours a day on the road you will pick it up very quickly, you don't even think about it at a certain point.

I wouldn't worry about it, and don't volunteer that you can't drive a 10 speed. Just go out there and drive it, you probably won't even be the worst.

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

You REALLY gotta not be able to shift a 10-speed to get them to send you home. I've watched guys get a lot of chances.

My experience was that the trucks Schnedier has you driving in orientation are a gazillion times better than CDL school.

double-quotes-end.png

What do you mean by chances? Does it mean they will test me a few times, or will they no-kidding work with me for 3 days straight. Pretend I know nothing and need real instruction.

I don't know your school or why they'd do what they're doing. It doesn't sound normal. But we had a guy in my Schneider orientation who (according to his instructor) couldn't shift. They put him in our truck with our trainer (there were two others of us sitting in the sleeper) and the guy drove fine. He had a few minor issues with shifting and judging his tandems around a corner, but otherwise did fine. The conclusion was the guy just needed more time, so instead of quitting at the end of the day with the rest of the class, he got a couple of hours extra instruction in the evening and in the training yard. He tested out with the rest of us.

I wasn't the best at shifting. But at orientation, they taught me what rpm's to shift at. Plus, the trucks at orientation, I only had to push that clutch in about 1/4 of an inch. Much different than the ancient trucks at CDL school.

My suggestion is GET POSITIVE. If there's an instructor or two at your CDL school you do well with, ask for their help. If they can't be in the truck with you, talk to them when you're in the yard and not driving. Sometimes it only takes an instructor telling you one thing and then everything clicks. I couldn't do alley dock backing to save my life until one day the instructor stopped me and said "wait until you can see this much of the trailer tires in the mirror, then start cutting the wheel back." That was all it took. Nailed it every time after that and on the test.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

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.

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".

Big Ben's Comment
member avatar

Some of the mega carriers are going to be all automatic soon anyways so if you can't shift I wouldn't be too worried. After I got done with my cdl school and mentor training I was put in a automatic and been in one since I went solo.

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.
sgtwilldog's Comment
member avatar

Ok thanks. I'll go to orientation and if nothing else, maybe I'll get the instruction I need.

And i AM POSITIVE but the kicker is, confidence doesn't overcome experience. I just need some time behind the wheel.

I won't be recommending this school. There are so many things wrong. I am not talking about only personality conflicts or reactive instruction... Last week I drove for 2 hours with a right turn signal not working. This week I drove for one hour, and thought HEY let me check if the mechanic fixed that. No lights on the trailer were working. The instructor forgot to plug in the electrical from the tractor to the trailer after the maintenance. The ****ty thing is he is the best and most involved instructor in the whole dam place. It's a hot mess.

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