Looking For Truck Owner

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Tractor Man's Comment
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Swift also has 3rd Party testing. We did our road training in the same truck we "Tested Out" in. The Road Training Instructors were also State of Arizona Certified to perform the AZ Road exam. It was real nice because all of our skills testing was done on the Swift Range that we learned on. A 6 month program sounds like a weekend schedule program. The OP certainly should have the Pre Trip sequence memorized by now, regardless if the Tractor/ Trailer he is required to inspect. My advice would be inspect the Truck they give you, jump in and give it your best shot. You get more than 1 chance to pass. After 6 months, I doubt you will need a second shot. I did it on the first shot with 20 days of training. They don't expect perfection, just a level of competence. Your time with a Company trainer will be the Big Step towards Safe and Proper operstion of the vehicle

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Kevin R.'s Comment
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I will name the school after I get my cdl. They are very vindictive and petty. I spoke to the head of the program to talk about where I'm at and how to prepare for the final. He became defensive and articulated clearly to me that his only goal us to meet the legal bligations of the contract I signed. I was told when I was recruited that there are extra trips available. I asked if I could take one and his response was "those trips are not guaranteed." Which I guess was a no. I heard the "unbiased and objective" state examiner of the school say to one of the instructors who is pushing for us to be able to at least pretrip the truck we will may yest in that "we will shut up the whiners" by allowing them to pretrip the exam trucks in advance. Our tuition puts food on his table and clothed on his back allowing me pays his mortgage but feels comfortable looking at students who just want to prepare for the test as "whiners" who need to "shut up". This examiner has the reputation of Darth Vader and seems to enjoy failing people. When I told the head of the program that I had not driven the truck I took my road final test, he very obnoxiously told me you did drive that truck in two of your 14 road trips.AND I HAVE IT DOCUMENTED PAL. This was a perry mason moment to him. The truck also had a sideways steering wheel so you couldn't see the tachometer.

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have just finished a six moth training program but the school will not let us practice in or pretrip the truck before our test so I want to drive and inspect a truck before I take the test. It's crazy that they won't let us touch the test trucks.

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What??? Isn't that the purpose of a Truck Driving School? I'm confused! What is the name of this School?

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Yeah - that's what I was going to ask.

He has a thread on the Training Diaries (title "Confused") - where the school sounds a little "fishy" - and yes - there are 3rd party private schools that are still crappy (Metropolitan down here is one of them) that give minimal help and give you just (barely) enough to pass your written/skills tests.

But at least they do the testing.

Kevins school HAS A TESTING TRUCK - but he is concerned (in his other thread) about doing a one-shot test in his schools truck - because he is unfamiliar with it and the school apparently doesn't let them practice on that truck.

Typically - states have certified examiners that do the testing, that are NOT DMV Employees. Here in Fl - most of the 3rd party schools have their instructors certified as examiners (at least a couple) to do their skills tests, do the tests are done BY the school, on equipment you're at least somewhat familiar with. My old instructor is one of 1/2-dozen guys that train and certify the examiners.

In my school (County VoTech) - we did our yard work & pre-trip with single screw daycabs and 43' boxes - then they took the top 1/2 of the class out in double screw (tandem drives vs single) road trucks (some days, a few sleepers) for a few laps around the road course - and tested 1/2 the class, so they could "ride shotgun" for the other 1/2 of the class. Basically - 2 students per road truck - we did 1,000 road miles as part of a 320 hour certificate class.

I feel your pain Kevin (somewhat). When I did my road test (top 1/2 of the class) - they grabbed me and my buddy, told us to pre-trip a road truck and go test. I asked if I could take a couple of laps around the inside track to get a feel for a truck I had never driven before - I got "are you a driver or a wheel holder?" as a response. Failed on missed shifts, because the truck shifted way different from everything else I had driven on the yard. Plus - I had already been "floating my gears" on the crappy yard trucks - so my double-clutching skills weren't up to snuff to begin with. And I was floating on the road test out of habit, and get yelled at to double clutch (probably could have passed floating).

So I understand that Kevin is looking for someone with a truck in PA - to road test. But there's a few "issues" there. Finding a STRANGER that's going to let you drive HIS TRUCK. Still being in the position of going to road test in an UNFAMILIAR TRUCK.

Rick

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.

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".

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

OUCH! Sounds like you got involved with a Shady operation. My advice still stands. Pre Trip the truck they give you (they are all pretty much the same). Jump in that sucker and Test Out! Darth Vader may turn out to be a Teddy Bear in disguise. Good Luck!

Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

According to our school instructors we are not allowed to drive or pre-trip the testing trucks on test day. Any other day no problem but on testing day it is not allowed.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

According to our school instructors we are not allowed to drive or pre-trip the testing trucks on test day. Any other day no problem but on testing day it is not allowed.

Thanks Bill, That makes sense to me!

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Kurt's Comment
member avatar

The school I attended also had us test in trucks and trailers that were very different than what we trained in. they like to collect that xtra 100 for the retest. I did pass but many fail.

I have just finished a six moth training program but the school will not let us practice in or pretrip the truck before our test so I want to drive and inspect a truck before I take the test. It's crazy that they won't let us touch the test trucks.

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Here in Florida, all testing is done at 3rd party facilities.

Think a Class A (with tractor & trailer) is $450 for test and rig at the County VoTech I did my school at.

That doesn't help for PA. I don't think ANY TESTING SITES (official DMV offices) "provide test vehicles" - even for automobile testing. Way too much liability exposure if you kill someone in a state-owned vehicle.

Rick

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Correct Rick. Not in PA.

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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.

Kevin R.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm scheduled for 1:30 on Tuesday. He said I'm not allowed to come on Monday to practice pretrip and air brakes but can come early Tuesday. Very strange operation.

The school I attended also had us test in trucks and trailers that were very different than what we trained in. they like to collect that xtra 100 for the retest. I did pass but many fail.

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I have just finished a six moth training program but the school will not let us practice in or pretrip the truck before our test so I want to drive and inspect a truck before I take the test. It's crazy that they won't let us touch the test trucks.

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Here in Florida, all testing is done at 3rd party facilities.

Think a Class A (with tractor & trailer) is $450 for test and rig at the County VoTech I did my school at.

That doesn't help for PA. I don't think ANY TESTING SITES (official DMV offices) "provide test vehicles" - even for automobile testing. Way too much liability exposure if you kill someone in a state-owned vehicle.

Rick

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Correct Rick. Not in PA.

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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.

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