Automatic Restriction

Topic 23025 | Page 1

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Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently in school to obtain my class A CDL , now I'm here through a company sponsored program from Schneider. Everything is going great, we are learning everything as we should. Now we are supposed to be learning on an automatic truck, but our instructor wanted us to learn on a manual. Which I wasn't against, I wanted to avoid having that restriction on my license. But now as my testing date is coming closer, which is next Monday(not this Monday), I'm started to get a little worried/stressed. Because I don't feel comfortable enough to drive a manual truck for the road test, this is mostly due to having limited drive time. I believe we have only went out driving 4, maybe 5 times? That is split between 4 students; so by the time everyone gets to drive and fix the mistakes they are making, it's about time for us to go back to the school.

Anyways to avoid ranting on and on, my question is simple: Do you think it's worth just having that restriction for now, to ensure I pass and get my CDL? I can always get it lifted at a later date. But this go around, I need to pass.

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.
Cwc's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't skip it just to ensure a passing grade. Everyone struggles a little but the less restrictions the better you are.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

You should definitely take the test in the standard transmission.

You can't shy away from challenges in this industry. You're going to face huge challenges every day in this career. That feeling of uncertainty is going to hit you every time a storm is coming, every time you're heading into Downtown Chicago, every time you get out of bed in the morning because you know you have some tough challenges ahead that day.

That's one of the things you have to love about trucking. It will make you better. No matter what you've been through in your life, trucking is going to challenge you in new ways. Get it set in your head that you're going to learn all you can about shifting between now and the test and when the time comes you're going to be confident and make it happen.

Learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable is part of trucking. This job will get a little easier over time, but it never gets easy. Embrace those challenges every day.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
my question is simple: Do you think it's worth just having that restriction for now, to ensure I pass and get my CDL? I can always get it lifted at a later date. But this go around, I need to pass.

Jamie, while I don't consider the auto-restriction a game changer, I am curious about your sense of urgency. It's really not a big deal if you fail your first attempt at testing. You'll simply reschedule and try again. We've seen a lot of really great professional truck drivers who failed their driving test three and four times.

I've always considered the tyranny of urgency to be something that causes a lot of bad decisions in our society. I taught my children to make well thought out decisions in life based on that principle.

I would test in the manual transmission if you have that option. Broaden your horizons, expand your thinking a little. Don't be tyranized by your own small thoughts. It will be difficult to find the time to have that restriction lifted later on if you decide you need to.

I drive a Volvo with the I-shift auto transmission and love it. A while back my truck needed to go back to the dealer for some warranty work that was going to take a week or more. The terminal I was at had one truck available, and two drivers there who needed a truck. They gave the truck to the other driver because he had gotten there before I did.

I settled in, expecting to spend the next few days watching some lousy TV shows in the driver's lounge, while the other driver got to keep on rolling and earning money. About fifteen minutes later he walks back in and goes inside the office. A few minutes later the manager comes into the lounge and hands me the keys to the truck. The truck had a manual transmission, and the driver had an auto-restriction on his license. So, he got to watch the John Wayne re-runs while I earned a couple of thousand dollars while my own truck was down.

One more observation...

I'm started to get a little worried/stressed. Because I don't feel comfortable enough to drive a manual truck for the road test, this is mostly due to having limited drive time. I believe we have only went out driving 4, maybe 5 times? That is split between 4 students; so by the time everyone gets to drive and fix the mistakes they are making, it's about time for us to go back to the school.

That limited drive time is typical for all of us. Look, all they're trying to do is get you licensed. It will take years to become proficient at operating a big rig as a professional. None of us were anywhere near ready for this when we first tested. All they want to see is that you seem to have the basics down and have some degree of how to operate a rig safely. The people testing you know you are as green as grass. I ground a few gears while testing, and couldn't get it into gear one time. As long as you can recover without impeding traffic you can still pass.

Everybody gets stressed about testing, but it's only one small step in this whole process. Again, if you have the opportunity to test in a manual, I think it's only logical that you should.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

You should definitely take the test in the standard transmission.

You can't shy away from challenges in this industry. You're going to face huge challenges every day in this career. That feeling of uncertainty is going to hit you every time a storm is coming, every time you're heading into Downtown Chicago, every time you get out of bed in the morning because you know you have some tough challenges ahead that day.

That's one of the things you have to love about trucking. It will make you better. No matter what you've been through in your life, trucking is going to challenge you in new ways. Get it set in your head that you're going to learn all you can about shifting between now and the test and when the time comes you're going to be confident and make it happen.

Learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable is part of trucking. This job will get a little easier over time, but it never gets easy. Embrace those challenges every day.

After sleeping it over, I agree. I believe I will do fine in a standard transmission, I guess I was just a little stressed last night, with my test date closing in quickly. But this week; we're going to be driving everyday. So I assume by the end of the week, I won't be making the same mistakes I am now.

Which my shifting isn't bad, it's just sometimes I have problems getting it into gear; or when shifting from 6th to 7th.. I sometimes move my hand over to much and end up in 9th, rather then letting my hand relax and let it go right into 7th. But I have been making that mistake less and less.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Jamie, while I don't consider the auto-restriction a game changer, I am curious about your sense of urgency. It's really not a big deal if you fail your first attempt at testing. You'll simply reschedule and try again. We've seen a lot of really great professional truck drivers who failed their driving test three and four times.

I've always considered the tyranny of urgency to be something that causes a lot of bad decisions in our society. I taught my children to make well thought out decisions in life based on that principle.

Well I'm trying my best to pass on my first go around, since I'm here through a company sponsored program. Which they are paying for the school and hotel I'm staying at, although the school will let me take the test multiple times if I fail for whatever reason. But I'm not sure about getting my hotel stay extended, without paying out of pocket. I live about 125 miles away, so driving back and forth isn't really an option due to car troubles.

I would test in the manual transmission if you have that option. Broaden your horizons, expand your thinking a little. Don't be tyranized by your own small thoughts. It will be difficult to find the time to have that restriction lifted later on if you decide you need to.

Yeah, after sleeping it over and calming down. I have decided it would be best to test in a manual transmission, since our instructor is giving us the option. I made this shortly after getting out of school, and I was a little stressed/frustrated after grinding some gears / missing a few gears. But like I mentioned above, my shifting isn't that bad to be as new as I am. I believe I will have it down by the end of this coming week, as we should all get more drive time.

I settled in, expecting to spend the next few days watching some lousy TV shows in the driver's lounge, while the other driver got to keep on rolling and earning money. About fifteen minutes later he walks back in and goes inside the office. A few minutes later the manager comes into the lounge and hands me the keys to the truck. The truck had a manual transmission, and the driver had an auto-restriction on his license. So, he got to watch the John Wayne re-runs while I earned a couple of thousand dollars while my own truck was down.

That is exactly why our instructor wanted us to test on a manual transmission, so we wouldn't have that E-Restriction. Which I was never against learning on a manual, I just got a little stressed yesterday.

That limited drive time is typical for all of us. Look, all they're trying to do is get you licensed. It will take years to become proficient at operating a big rig as a professional. None of us were anywhere near ready for this when we first tested. All they want to see is that you seem to have the basics down and have some degree of how to operate a rig safely. The people testing you know you are as green as grass. I ground a few gears while testing, and couldn't get it into gear one time. As long as you can recover without impeding traffic you can still pass.

Everybody gets stressed about testing, but it's only one small step in this whole process. Again, if you have the opportunity to test in a manual, I think it's only logical that you should.

Yeah I came to understand that as I was going through the school, we learn barely enough just to get our licenses. Then we learn how to handle everything better as we get more road experience, and things alike.

Yeah, I haven't really impended traffic. Since most of my problems come from down shifting, my up-shifting problems really only occur due to me trying to go from 6th to 9th by mistake, as I push the shifter to far over at times. But I recovery pretty quickly, as soon as I notice it grind, etc.

But over all, after calming down, I realized I was simply over thinking it. I normally get stressed leading up to testing, but when I get there; I calm down and do what I'm supposed to. I just wanted to get others opinions I suppose, which I thank all of you!

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I just need to stop and think before over thinking things rofl-3.gif

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