CFI At Crowder College

Topic 22406 | Page 5

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Don's Comment
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We will find out tomorrow morning after breakfast, if she isn't seen at the trucks.

Glad to hear you're doing well. Did the party girl get sent home or did she calm down?

G-Town's Comment
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Oops. I meant to say "keep rpms above around 800 rpms before downshifting when in gears 5 or below." I would downshift at times around 1000 rpms before revving up to 1100, which made it more difficult to shift down.

That's cool when downshifting to slow down. Totally agree.

Somewhat situational dependent though.

Future knowledge...

Not that you need to worry about this right now, but if you are very heavy, close to 80k, going up a steep hill requiring successive downshifts; waiting for the r's to drop to 800 you might as well skip a gear cause you'll miss the next lower one, road speed drops too fast in that situation.

Remember gears in the lower range are spaced closer together ratio wise. You'll need to be really quick downshifting on a steep uphill grade, staying slightly ahead of road speed shifting at 1000 rpms or split from 5-3 at 800 as an example (in a 10 speed).

They might teach you this technique with an empty...time will tell.

I remember when I learned this the hard way. We pull potatoes out of a farm near Hegins Pa, off I-81. The climb required to reach 81 is ridiculously steep and it undulates which makes it even more challenging. First time I went up this beast with 39,500 pounds of spuds, I did exactly as you described, tried to downshift at 800. Missed the gear, and fortunately had the presence of mind to grab the next lower one, otherwise I would have had to stop and start in first on a 9+% grade. Backroad mountain driving takes some getting used to. Scary moment though...

Second time on the same hill I started my downshifting at 1000 rpms in the lower range and made it up smoothly.

The rule of thumb...sometimes there isn't one. Like I said, situational.

Don's Comment
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Jeremy, If you call "being behind the wheel traveling at 20 mph as "trucking like a boss", well, call me Supertrucker. Haha Being behind the wheel of a real truck was both exciting and met with anxiety. The simulator time was very beneficial, but the feel of the truck was a big difference. Pedals were harder to push, the simulators did not shake and jerk when we made errors, and finding the gears in the truck could definitely be more difficult. We were out in the boonies and speeds were so low that there was no chance of any danger, so once we went through our first rotation of skills without killing too many groundhogs, I settled down and started feeling more comfortable. Plus, I knew if we made some bad errors, the only thing that would be damaged were egos.

I am pleased with my progress, but I realize the time will come soon where I make so many errors I will believe I cannot drive a Tonka truck. Ask me again then about making good progress after I drive out on the populated streets and highways where my head will be doing a 360." Nervousness caused me to make simple and embarrassing errors such as stalling the truck this morning.

Oh, and there is only room for one "Big" in this forum, and Scott has that title.

Big don, trucking like a boss!

Would you say that getting behind the wheel was an anxious moment or did you feel comfortable because of the simulator (or something else?)

I imagine the first time behind the wheel to be a mix of elation and complete shock. Hope I take to it as quick as you are.

Shame about the class clown, but I suppose those are going to appear everywhere.

I'l be keeping that slow and steady in mind!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Jeremy, If you call "being behind the wheel traveling at 20 mph as "trucking like a boss", well, call me Supertrucker. Haha Being behind the wheel of a real truck was both exciting and met with anxiety. The simulator time was very beneficial, but the feel of the truck was a big difference. Pedals were harder to push, the simulators did not shake and jerk when we made errors, and finding the gears in the truck could definitely be more difficult. We were out in the boonies and speeds were so low that there was no chance of any danger, so once we went through our first rotation of skills without killing too many groundhogs, I settled down and started feeling more comfortable. Plus, I knew if we made some bad errors, the only thing that would be damaged were egos.

I am pleased with my progress, but I realize the time will come soon where I make so many errors I will believe I cannot drive a Tonka truck. Ask me again then about making good progress after I drive out on the populated streets and highways where my head will be doing a 360." Nervousness caused me to make simple and embarrassing errors such as stalling the truck this morning.

Hey, ya didn't hit anything, and from what I understand, that's a great day for any trucker! smile.gif

But seriously, it was just really cool to hear that you finally got behind the wheel. It's something many of us hit this forum thinking about. And it sort of denotes a terrific milestone along the journey. Very cool that you've got the first drive under your belt - no matter how slowly.

Oh, and there is only room for one "Big" in this forum, and Scott has that title.

True story! I was really tired last night and it was exciting to read your update when I got home. How about "Don Don"? Anyone remember Cannonball Run? rofl-1.gif

Hmmmmm... Might have just dated myself there.

Don's Comment
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G-town, I understand the principle you are referencing relating to using a lower gear, especially for inclines. In my personal truck, I'll often grab a lower gear , say from 4th to 2nd, to match road speed. I don't have a tachometer in my pickup, so I have to listen to my engine and watch the speedometer to know which gear to go to. With a synchronized 5 speed such as in my pick-up, it is simple. In a tractor, it is much different, at least to myself at this point. It will just take time and practice like anything we are learning.

double-quotes-start.png

Oops. I meant to say "keep rpms above around 800 rpms before downshifting when in gears 5 or below." I would downshift at times around 1000 rpms before revving up to 1100, which made it more difficult to shift down.

double-quotes-end.png

That's cool when downshifting to slow down. Totally agree.

Somewhat situational dependent though.

Future knowledge...

Not that you need to worry about this right now, but if you are very heavy, close to 80k, going up a steep hill requiring successive downshifts; waiting for the r's to drop to 800 you might as well skip a gear cause you'll miss the next lower one, road speed drops too fast in that situation.

Remember gears in the lower range are spaced closer together ratio wise. You'll need to be really quick downshifting on a steep uphill grade, staying slightly ahead of road speed shifting at 1000 rpms or split from 5-3 at 800 as an example (in a 10 speed).

They might teach you this technique with an empty...time will tell.

I remember when I learned this the hard way. We pull potatoes out of a farm near Hegins Pa, off I-81. The climb required to reach 81 is ridiculously steep and it undulates which makes it even more challenging. First time I went up this beast with 39,500 pounds of spuds, I did exactly as you described, tried to downshift at 800. Missed the gear, and fortunately had the presence of mind to grab the next lower one, otherwise I would have had to stop and start in first on a 9+% grade. Backroad mountain driving takes some getting used to. Scary moment though...

Second time on the same hill I started my downshifting at 1000 rpms in the lower range and made it up smoothly.

The rule of thumb...sometimes there isn't one. Like I said, situational.

G-Town's Comment
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Don-Don's reply to G-Town Town:...

I don't have a tachometer in my pickup, so I have to listen to my engine and watch the speedometer to know which gear to go to. With a synchronized 5 speed such as in my pick-up, it is simple. In a tractor, it is much different, at least to myself at this point. It will just take time and practice like anything we are learning.

"Listening" is totally viable as you gain more experience shifting. "Yes" to everything else you mentioned. Emphasis on practice.

Don's Comment
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5/4, Day 5

This morning we went out to the range and continued straight backing and then driving the range practicing turns and shifting. Straightbacking is going extremely well and my shifting and turning is "very good" according to my instructor. We were then tested on our range driving and went to lunch. After lunch, we were tested on straightbacking on the pads. I went first and passed (Iwhoop! Whoop!) and then waited until our group finished. I recommend volunteering to go first any chance you get, as I feel doing so is showing initiative to the instructors. Even if you are "shaking in your boots, go first and get it done. After you pass, you can relax until others are done. I would recommend to prospectve student to do the same, if they feel confident in what they have been taught. For myself, doing so has been effective so far. After supper, a couple of us practiced our pre-trips. Others -mostly the young bucks - are waiting to practice their pre-trips. I wouldn't recommend to others to put it off until the last minute, but they are going to do what they do. Over the weekend, we have an open book test to complete, and I'll continue practing my pre-trip. Then relax a little. Monday, we will start driving the progressively more difficult drives on the streets in Neosho and highway. Oh boy.....Until Monday, have a great weekend.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Turtle's Comment
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Congrats on your first passing. It's great to hear how things are going so well for you.

I totally agree with your "get it done" approach. Too much time thinking about something only increases the anxiety. Keep it up!

Big Scott's Comment
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The pre trip is mostly memorization and knowing what the parts are. It is the one thing they can't help you improve on. The ones waiting will be sorry.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Don's Comment
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I agree, the pre-trip feels like it is more about memorization, at least for the tests. Last night, I heard, "is securely mounted, no damage, no cracks, no leaks, no missing nuts, is not frayed or worn"..... and on...and on, in my sleep. Practice makes perfect, though. Mentioning that, 90+% of the students currently in the various weeks of Crowders training program are Puerto Rican with very limited english skills. I am the only American born, english speaker in our class, and from what I've observed, possibly in all of the classes. I state this only to follow up with the pre-trip is difficult enough for us whose native language is english and believe my classmates who are 1), not practicing doing the pre-trip in english and 2), not at all, simply will not pass, no matter their driving skills. They are all very friendly, we have gotten along great and a common bond has been developed, so I will feel disappointment if any fail due to they did not practice the pre-trip. Only one of my classmates has overcome whatever is keeping the rest from practicing, and he and I are doing out to the trucks every evening. We both have improved, and I can see he is gaining confidence, especially with doing it in english. He too, is trying to get the others to start practicing but hasn't been successful in doing so, at least not yet.

The pre trip is mostly memorization and knowing what the parts are. It is the one thing they can't help you improve on. The ones waiting will be sorry.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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