CFI At Crowder College

Topic 22406 | Page 10

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Han Solo Cup (aka, Pablo)'s Comment
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I'd "like" your posts if we had a "like" button. I really like reading a fellow Buckeyes training diary. My favorite part from today well... there's two. One, like previously mentioned, you didn't let the instructor get to you. Your time with him is short so why make it a bigger issue? Well done. And two, instead of complaining about how hard the backing maneuvers are, you stated it's all "about your setup". Excellent point; I'm adding that to my list of notes. Start with a good setup and you're in good shape. Thanks, Don.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Jeremy, for myself he parallels and offset are about your set-up and using the crossbar to assist your set-up. Then it is steering wheel control to nudge the trailer where to go. The hardest part for me was remembering which way to turn the steering wheel during each phase of backing.

Understood and noted. Two other things that have been told to me are:

1) When the trailer starts going in the wrong direction, steer toward the problem to straighten it out.

2) When straight backing, grip both hands near the bottom of the wheel, because, allegedly with your arms that close together, it's harder to float too far off in one direction or the other.

What's your opinion there?

It's all just theory to me right now, but at some point I expect to come back and reference many of your posts.

Apparently we might be spending two weeks on Pre-Trip and the Smith system (defensive driving?) before even sitting in the driver's seat. I'm sure they schedule things for a reason, but I wanna drive today!!!!!! rofl-1.gif

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Very true Don. With any back, it's all in the set up.

Don's Comment
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5/11/18, Day 10

This morning, we took our mid-term exams on our book work. As we started the test, three classmates were told to "bring their stuff." They were being sent home. After the test, the remaining six of us went outside and were tested on our pre-trips. I was doing fine up until I came to the final part of the in-cab, the air brakes. Oh, I went through the steps like I should have with one very important exception. I completed my service brakes test, turned the truck off and had it in gear. I turned the key on and started going through the air brakes. "I will now check that with my brake peddle applied fully, I will check my air pressure gauges. I will not lose more that 4 psi's in 1 minute. If you will time me for one minute, I will start now." Uhh, wait a minute, why are my instrument panel gauges and lights not functioning?" DOH! I failed to turn the key far enough for the instruments to function!! I caught it, but too late. After turning the key on (but not the engine), presto, I had gauges. I went ahead just to complete the in-cab. Afterwards, my instructor stated to me that "if I realize I forgot a step, ask the examiner if I can start the air brake portion again." I felt like a knucklehead. So, this weekend, I am going to practice the in-cab repeatedly, emphasizing what I missed and getting the in-cab, especially the air test down cold. My pre-trip for outside the cab was 92%. With the exception of my road driving exam Wednesday where I had shifting issues (a score of 87), all my other evaluations/tests (backing and range and book tests) all seem to be 92%. Hey, I'll take that.

After lunch, we practiced offsets the entire time. I am finding that I tend to hug the center cone, and also realizing that pull-ups will be my best friend. My instructor stated I am oversteering on the final stage when going in the hole. No homework, etc.. for the weekend. Next week, we have 4 road tests along with our offset evalutions.

Have a good weekend.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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92 shiny percent!!! That's an awesome number!

I just started getting in to pre-trip today. We don't officially start pre-trip until Sunday, but I found a driver out in the yard this morning that was willing to pop his hood and walk me through all the way to end of the trailer.

And then caught another driver on the yard this evening and he walked me through it again.

I'm having trouble remembering the exact phrases for each part, but it's only been one day. However I'm doing much better than I thought I would at remembering all the parts (thanks to Daniel's Pre-Trip Inspection guide!)

Wish I was getting the road time and backing time that you are, but it seems to still be a week away at best.

Do you guys have to train on the Smith system as we'll? They're blending that in with our pre-trip.

We're off tomorrow, but start back around 6am on Sunday.

Have a great weekend, brother. Hope you get some relaxing in. Been an interesting week and you deserve some down time!

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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CFI does use the and teach the SMITH system. If they don't teach it at Crowder he will learn it when at CFI.

Don's Comment
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What is the SMITH System?

CFI does use the and teach the SMITH system. If they don't teach it at Crowder he will learn it when at CFI.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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What is the SMITH System?


CFI does use the and teach the SMITH system. If they don't teach it at Crowder he will learn it when at CFI.


1- Aim high in steering. 2- Get the big picture. 3- Keep your eyes moving. 4- Leave yourself an out. 5- Make sure they see you.

The Riot's Comment
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Don, why were the 3 students sent home?

Old School's Comment
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Don, why were the 3 students sent home?

Hey Riot, I'm sure Don will answer this later but I wanted to throw this out there. Generally people get sent home for about four basic reasons:

1) They lied on their application.

2) They couldn't pass the physical.

3) They failed the drug test.

4) They just aren't showing any real interest in getting it done.

We'll see what Don knows about them, and I'll bet you they fall into one of those categories.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

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