CRST, The Second Chance: Waterloo.

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Joseph L.'s Comment
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So after learning I was going to Waterloo. I went back and packed my bags to get ready to leave the next day. So we arrived in Waterloo the following day. If you get sent to Waterloo you'll end up staying at either the super8 or the Baymont end. I stayed at the super8. Both hotels are extremely close to restaurants. There are a taco bell, Wendy's and McDonald's all minutes away from the super8 with plenty of other restaurants and shopping available within walking distance. Upon checking in we got our room assignments. I somehow got my own room. Both hotels offer breakfast seven days a week, from 6am-9pm, I was told the Baymont breakfast was a bit nicer. Okay so moving on. The training for the Hawkeye cdl school for CRST students is 7am-5pm. Morning classes are 7am to 1130 am lunch is served from 11:15 to 12:30. Afternoon classes run from 1pm to 4:30pm You will attend either Saturday or Sunday from 8am till 1pm. Days:5-6 okay so after nearly a week after I arrived in Cedar Rapids to begin my cdl training I actually started training. The first two days where spent watching a shifting video which is about two hours and a pre trip instruction video. Towards the end of your second day which was training day number 6 for me, you will be sent to the simulator room which holds four giant video game virtual reality machines. They are designed to give you a feeling of being in a truck and shifting. The first day I got about twenty minutes of practicing my shifting. You'll dry shift through the gears learning them, you will learn to use the clutch and gear shifter at the same time. On Sunday we were told we would be taking our simulator evaluation exams. There are three different test your giving threw chances to pass each one, you need to score a 60 or better. My first time on test one, I scored a low 55. I took out a light pole. Stalled out. It was a mess. So I started my second time, the second time I went slower I applied some of what I learned at CR.England to the test I was taking. "You will find yourself making deliveries in big town's, little town's and huge cities like New York, Chicago. Your going to be dealing with a rapid changing , ever shifting constantly moving environment. Be aware of your surroundings and watch your speed." I passed the second time around with a 83% I passed the last two test with 63% and the final exam an 88% on the first try. I was giving the okay to move on with training starting that Monday.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Army 's Comment
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Congrats on your progress so far. We look forward to reading more.

Peter M.'s Comment
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Great news. Keep up the good work.

S's Comment
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Congrats!!! thanks for keeping the updates coming, it is so different from the school I'm attending.

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Part 2. Okay I was thinking about starting a second posting called CRST: The Second chance Waterloo chapter 2. Instead I will continue with this one. Okay so Sunday when I passed my simulator tests would have been training day number 7. Training days: 8 -13. So 7am Monday morning we are back at the Hawkeye training center. After roll call we are assigned to instructors. I get assigned to the backing range. Okay I am thinking I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, in the simulator I believe it was during test 2. I actually got into 10th gear. The other test I kept it between 3rd, 4th and 5th gears. So I go to backing range nervous as can be, but excited in a mad excited way. The whole CR.England thing was still bothering me. So there are probably 10 maybe 15 students at the backing range. There are two trucks being used. I am waiting my turn reading over pre trip stuff. When all of the sudden I hear chatter on the two way radios, there are close to a dozen students who need to test on backing or take their road test. The backing instructors start pointing at us you, you and you , go work on pre trip. So off I go. I find an instructor going over pre trip with already a dozen students, most aren't paying attention, several aren't paying attention, several are on their phones. I head out side to where some training trucks are. There are at least five trucks and one trailer that pretty much never leave the training yard. I think once a month I was told they take them out. So I find a truck open the hood and start going over pre trip. A little different from the ones at CR.England but I am able to figure stuff out. So from 8:00 am till 11:30am I do pre trip by myself. That afternoon I spent ridding in a truck as students prepared to do road test and I got to go on fuel runs, didn't get to drive but I paid attention to the shifting and what the instructor said. So that was Day 8. Day:9 I started the day by getting assigned to a shifting group. So finally after nearly two weeks since I started on this second chance I am back behind the wheel. It's a mess I stalled out in the first minute, I am reving my rmp's to high, I am grinding gears it's a mess. I completed three laps on the training loop. I am getting ready to start my 4th one and my instructor gets a call on his two way radio, several students breed road test evaluations to see if they are test ready. Ten minutes later I am back doing pre trip. It's wasn't even 9am. So I do pre trip till lunch. I come back hoping I can get back on a truck to do more shifting. They do roll call and then assing people to instructors. My name isn't call. About a dozen of us are sitting there wondering what is going on? An instructor finally tells us we are going to work on pre trip. She tells us find the instructor who is going over it or do it by our selves. Several students go locate the instructor going over pre trip more of them head for the smoking area. I head off to work alone, I don't have time for non sense that's what the instructor lead classes are a bunch of childish non sense people talking over each other, playing on their phones, goofing off or five people asking the same question over and over. So the day ends I go back to the hotel. Training Day 10 and 11. I did 16 hours of pre trip studying between the two days. Out of the those 16 hours, I did one hour with an instructor just to mix things up. That was Wednesday and Thursday. Training Day 12. 7:30 am. I am back at truck doing what?? Yes that's right I am doing pre trip. Why ? Because they don't have space for me elsewhere. So I do pre trip all morning by myself. Accept for about five hours I have been pretty much by myself learning pre trip. I spent two hours ridding around Monday afternoon, an hour on the truck while me and three other students did shifting and the one hour with an instructor doing pre trip. I worked with a follow student for an hour going over in cab, the air break check was holding him up. So I spend Friday morning doing pre trip from 7:30 am till 11:30 am. I come back after lunch and I am asked if I am ready to be tested on in cab and pre trip??? I get really bad test anxiety. The instructor mention test my stomach started to knot up. I started to say I needed another day and then I am asked if I want a practice run? I started to say yes but then I stopped myself . was I ready to test your bleeping right I was, did I need a run through? Hell no I didn't I could teach a pre trip class. I told the instructor when ever your available I am ready. To pass the in cab and pre trip test you can score a total of 47 points. You need at least 35 to pass. I scored 46 out 47 passed it my first try.

One D.O.T required test down two more to go.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
S's Comment
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Congrats keep it up and you will be on the road making money in no timesmile.gif

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Part 3: Backing Training and testing. Okay so training day 12. Okay so I had completed my in cab and pre trip testing. I think by the time I finally got tested and got done it was close to 2:30 pm that Friday. So I go to the backing range and there are probably a dozen hanging out waiting for a turn. So around 4pm I get my turn, I let the instructor know so far my time behind the wheel has been twenty minutes. He said no problem he will show me how to do all three moves and then I will do them. 30 minutes later I am honking my horn after completing the parallel. Training Day 13. My weekend day for that week was Sunday. I got sent to backing. Once I got there I was told I would be testing on backing. I politely explained I wasn't ready. I explained the amount of time I had behind the wheel, the 30 minute crash course in backing and all the time spent on pre trip. So I managed to get two practice runs in. Probably spent a total of 30-40 minutes backing all together. Training Day ended we went back to the hotel.

Training Day 14. I spent the entire morning and half of the afternoon on the road shifting. However by 2:30 pm we had been booted from the truck because some people needed to be tested. I found my self back at a truck pretending to do pre trip. I had gone to the backing range but found close to two dozen people there so I knew my chances were slim of actually getting in backing time in. I however wasn't worried as I knew the next day or day after I would get my chance.

Training Day 15: As I suspected I was sent to the backing range. I was the third person to , complete the straight back and off set on my own, parallel I ended up needing some advice from an instructor on it. So two more students went complete the three maneuvers. The testing instructor looks at me and goes you're going to test. My heart sank, my heart started pounding, my knees got weak I was screwed! The testor asked me if I wanted to do a practice run? I started for the truck and stopped. I turned and said no I didn't. I handed him my drivers license and cdl permit without looking at him. My eyes were fixed on the parallel spot. My heart rate had returned to normal, the shakeyness disappeared, the day of reckoning was at hand. So I began my test. I did the straight back and passed with no points gather. I moved on to the off set and a few minutes later I blew my horn. The testor walked up, looked things over and said perfect. Go do parallel.

So I pulled around and set my truck up. I said a quick pray and started. Roughly five minutes later I set the breaks and got out to look. I was where I should be, however I was a little to close to a line, I felt I shouldn't be. I got back in the truck ready to adjust. The testor looked at me and waved. I rolled down my window What are you doing? I explained my concern about the position of my rear tires being on the line. The testor looks towards the rare of the trailer and then at me. There are six cones your tractor trailer needs to be between. Where is yours? Between all six cones. Honk your horn, go pull the truck around. I didn't hear nice job, good job I suddenly got worried, really worried. However by the time I pulled around and parked the truck. I was up beat okay so maybe things didn't go my way today, tomorrow they would, tomorrow I would own it.

As I got out of the truck the testor said two points. An instructor who I had worked with and several students all stared at me in disbelief. I was ticked two points? Your only allowed to loose 12 points, how did I loose 14 points. I knew I should have pulled up. The testor handed me licenses back. Nice work you only got two points on the parallel parking, you passed. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜???? I couldn't move or talk. Finally I asked what did you say? He replied your done here, you did it you passed backing your first try. Go hang out till lunch job. All the glory goes to God. Now it was down to one test.

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.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Whooo hooo!

CDL Exam Story

keep in mind the max points they can give you for grinding gears is 5.pts. i think you need 31 to fail. so calm yourself and recover. if you are about to stall, the truck will shake. downshift asap. easier.said than done, i know. but i failed twice for stalling and impeding traffic.

say out loud everything you see and are doing. "slowing and looking both ways for railroad, not shifting on tracks. sign says 60 ton weight limit, watching that car in my right, checking mirrors before changing lanes"

this makes it much easier for them to score you and makes it clear you know what you are doing. it will also helo relax you.

good-luck.gif

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations!

Your experience is more common than you think. Here's an article concerning truck driver training that those of you following along here should easily relate to.

The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Training

Here's an excellent Podcast about The Bootcamp Approach To Trucking.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

Whooo hooo!

CDL Exam Story

keep in mind the max points they can give you for grinding gears is 5.pts. i think you need 31 to fail. so calm yourself and recover. if you are about to stall, the truck will shake. downshift asap. easier.said than done, i know. but i failed twice for stalling and impeding traffic.

say out loud everything you see and are doing. "slowing and looking both ways for railroad, not shifting on tracks. sign says 60 ton weight limit, watching that car in my right, checking mirrors before changing lanes"

this makes it much easier for them to score you and makes it clear you know what you are doing. it will also helo relax you.

good-luck.gif

Hi RainyD, I am writing this thread from home (I know people will be like what? Wait your not in CDL school anymore? What happened, oh no๐Ÿ˜ญ)

I will get to that later.

I thought I would never get the shifting down, almost daily when I practice I would stall out. What made it worse was everyone did it perfectly. I just kept at it I went from horrible to rotten, progress to bad then to improving, to showing potential to being okay, next goal being really, really good at shifting๐Ÿ˜€

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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