End Of 2nd Week At CDL School

Topic 21940 | Page 1

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Jim S.'s Comment
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Two weeks down, a few to go...

My first week at Smith & Solomon in Philadelphia was all classroom to prepare us for the written test. With that out of the way, I took to the yard last week with some of the guys (there's one girl who shows up irregularly, the rest are guys). First up, in-cab pre-trip inspection. I think most of us have that down now, including the air brake check. We moved on to the cab front, under the hood, and the rest of the vehicle. Lots to know for the test, so I don't mind making sure I have good notes early, giving me a few weeks to review it over and again so I can pass the test.

We moved on to some yard maneuvers - straight line backing, offset parking and parallel parking. I've managed to get a reasonable handle on those, though I want to make sure to practice a lot before test time. This week we're going to the road - likely taking the bobtail out to a big empty lot (by the stadiums, most likely) to practice shifting before hitting the road with a trailer.

It's starting to get a bit fun. I anticipate about 4-5 weeks until I'm ready to test. Some guys were anxious to get out on the road last week, so now they're playing catch-up with the maneuvers. I'm trying to progress at a steady pace in the order that the instructors want to present the material (the order I described), then spend a couple of weeks practicing everything again and again.

Also, I filled out applications with Covenant and Werner, with positive responses in email. I'll check into a few more companies as I go along, hopefully I can get pre-hired so I can go right into a job when I'm finished.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.


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


What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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