Am I Concerned Over Nothing?

Topic 23176 | Page 1

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Junkyard Dog's Comment
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So during CDL school I learned on a manual transmission 160 hour course but probably only drove half of that if that? and maybe a third of that half was actually on the road. So I went on the road with my trainer and he had an automatic drove through the mountains no problems. Of course my first truck going solo is a 10 speed. So my first month I have avoided the mountains now I'm being dispatched from Fort Collins Colorado to Hurricane West Virginia and Salem Virginia. I've never driven mountains with a manual, and being honest, I'm stressed over this. My shifting isn't great by any means, I can downshift 10 to 9 to 8th going up big hills but driving in Dallas I stalled out going up one of those Jetson ramps (you have to be old to get that reference) in traffic. Am I stressing over Nothing? They are giving me great miles, can't complain, but I'm afraid that I'm not trained adequately? Thoughts...advise?


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob S.'s Comment
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The short answer is yes, you're stressing over nothing. A better answer is that if you remain focused on your job you'll be fine. If someone gave you the keys to their truck, they think you'll be fine too. Don't try to keep up with traffic going down hills until you're confidence grows. You can only go too fast once. There are lots of posts about mountain driving if you need help with shifting. How did you get to Colorado without driving in mountains?

Errol V.'s Comment
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You are stressing over not much. First, remember this: avoid downshifting while going down a grade. The shifting needs to be done before you start down. There should be several "warning" signs at the top before you start down.

Also, especially on long steep grades there might be a "brake check" area. (Most modern trucks have automatic adjustments so you probably don't need to stop there.) You could have Truck Speed Limits as slow as 35 MPH.

In other words, plenty of warning. Use your retarder (Jake Brake) selector to get a speed you can manage and are comfortable with. Do NOT get intimidated by super truckers who come up behind you. Above all, don't ride/ slide your brakes.

Thousands of truckers go down steep roads every day. You can too.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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So I live to tell about it. Driving on I-64 and I-77 wasn't bad at all. I was on my way to Roanoke Virginia and my GPS sent me on u.s. 460.... that's where I Learned to Drive in the mountains or at least big hills. On the interstates I never had to drop below 8th gear but on 460... coming out of a few of those small towns the grade was straight up it seemed. I was down as low as 5the gear To Climb. Going to follow my trainers advice stay on the interstates whenever possible especially in these conditions even if you have to drive extra hours. The thing I found really odd is the perception of an incline and a decline in the road. There were times I was sure I was going downhill or at least level and my truck was lugging. Other times I thought I was going uphill and my truck was picking up speed. SMH. Anyway I learned a lot today. I can drive the mountains. Had no issues going down. Through the Jake in high, went down in the same gear that I went up. And tap the brakes when I needed to. Other than my shoulders and arms killing me from the stress I feel really good about today.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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