Old Habits To Kill: Road Test Question

Topic 16273 | Page 1

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Kemo's Comment
member avatar

So I'm still training for my Class A. I have a Class B and have been driving dump truck for 1.5 years now.

During the Class A Road test, I know you are not supposed to shift while making turns but I have a few questions:

1)When making a turn in an intersection (lets say at a left turn with green arrow) can you pull out straight and get an up shift or two in before your start turning depending on how large of an intersection it is? Some of our left turn lights do not stay green long enough for even a car to make it through before it turns red, so you can bet while dump truck driving I've been shifting while turning O.o We even have a couple straight through traffic signals that turns red before you can make it across the intersection in a loaded dump truck let alone a full semi.

2)When you are taking your parking tests (alley dock, "parallel park") do you still have to maintain "two handed" steering?

3)In our AK CDL book they do not show a side side 90 diagram, I am guessing this is not on the road test anymore. Anyone who has recently taken the road test have to do a side side 90?

I appreciate the info. I will be clarifying these things with the road test instructor but I wanted to get a heads up on these things so I can practice this stuff before hand.

Thank you!! Kemo

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kemo asks:

When making a turn in an intersection (lets say at a left turn with green arrow) can you pull out straight and get an up shift or two in before your start turning depending on how large of an intersection it is?

It's been quite a few years since I took the exam, but I do recall quickly shifting from second to third from a full stop before I got into the turn. Keep in mind the reason they can be strict about this, they do not want a student to stall their truck in the intersection. One thing I will tell you, do not shift over railroad tracks until you are sure the entire length of the trailer has cleared the crossing.

Kemo also asks:

2)When you are taking your parking tests (alley dock, "parallel park") do you still have to maintain "two handed" steering?

I wouldn't be blatant about "one-handing" the wheel as you back. Try to use one hand to adjust, the other,...? Goes along for the ride. Finesse it a bit, you'll be okay.

And finally;

I will be clarifying these things with the road test instructor but I wanted to get a heads up on these things so I can practice this stuff before hand.

That's a great idea. Good luck!

Carl A.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on working to get your class A cdl. I took my CDL about 3 months ago in Montana. With regards to shifting going through a intersection I was docked for that. As far as shifting while making a left or right turn we were told not to do so. I just started out in a higher gear (not to high of a gear so you stall it). Just my own opinion its not a good idea to shift at all doing these 3 things reason being is and it happens to most and that is missing a gear when you up shift, another reason is I have seen drivers shift while making a turn and caused a freight shift and yes they tipped over. When I did my yard test backing, offset. and 90 it wasnt a big deal that I didnt use both hands. A bad habit I had when I had a CDL a few years back was holding onto the shifter as I was going through the motions of getting my rig through all the gears and even while I was going down the road. I hope this helps some.

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.
Kemo's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the input guys, really appreciate it :D Great advice and personal accounts

When I took my class B road test I asked the instructor about not shifting through an intersection as it's stated in the book. He said "that is only if you are turning in an intersection, they really need to fix the wording on that". Now I'm not sure if this changes per state or per instructor or both, so I suppose if I don't happen to get the same road test instructor I will ask them too lol. Was your 90 an alley dock or a side side 90?

Shoot I've got a truck I started in 5th once on accident and didn't stall it (button up). It's really hard on a clutch to start in even 3rd gear. I will only be starting in low/1st when loaded and 1st when empty (2nd when on a small down grade).

Yesterdays training went very well! Took 3 loads 28 ton ( our side dump set up legal for 28.5 :D ) There were a couple of times where I 1 handed turned / shifting on a turn out of necessity :( but I did tell myself "DO NOT DO THIS ON TEST". There's a lot of times I find myself thinking I need to get involved in local politics. Like seeing if the city can fix the multiple traffic lights we have that only stay green for 5-10 seconds (no exaggeration here). There's no way you won't have traffic already threatening to run into you/go under your tires if you don't shift through some of these intersections, turning or not O.o!

Thanks again guys!

Kemo's Comment
member avatar

Side note: we only do dirt, asphalt, broken concrete, rock etc construction type stuff, so our loads shifting around isn't typically an issue. I can see your point on the freight and shifting. Also, while turning binds up the rears also slows you down faster in between shifts makes it harder to shift if you are turning so missing becomes a higher possibility. And no one wants a truck stuck in the middle of an intersection that can't get it in gear and get out of the way lol. Or if for some reason something just so happened to break and there was no getting it back into a gear (same reason for railroad crossing no shift zone) except for with the general traffic.

Bravo Zulu's Comment
member avatar

My school instructor said:

The rule is to not shift at an intersection; but they would rather you shift and get through the turn if you are starting from a dead stop.

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