CRST, The Second Chance: Waterloo.

Topic 23210 | Page 2

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Joseph L.'s Comment
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Old School, you sir are so correct about the emotional roller coaster ride of training. One would think after passing a test say pre trip or backing one would be happy, dancing about. That wasn't me When I passed pre trip I was 😑, 46 out 47 possible points? I missed something,I missed one thing, that really bothered me for a day or day twoπŸ˜‚ When I passed the backing test I wasπŸ˜πŸ˜• I was shocked, considering the horrible time I had with it at CR.England, later on though I celebrate both victories with a soda and a TV dinner.

's Comment
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Joseph I like that your so detailed in your diaries. Best of luck to you and yes it's a very emotional rollercoaster ride. One day I'm jumping up and down that I got it the next I'm beating myself up about all . good-luck.gifsmile.gif

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Joseph I like that your so detailed in your diaries. Best of luck to you and yes it's a very emotional rollercoaster ride. One day I'm jumping up and down that I got it the next I'm beating myself up about all . good-luck.gifsmile.gif

SandyS. That was a huge problem with me, I was very critical of myself especially with mistakes. There were days where I would make a mistake and it snow balled. No matter what I couldn't get it together. I had to remind myself that I am new at this. The instructors reminded us daily mistakes will happen, even when we have 5, 10, 20 , 30 years of experience behind the wheel occasionally your going to grind gears, get lost, make a mistake, get up and move along is what we were told

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Part3: training days 16-21. Okay so before I get into the driving shifting phase. I would like to go back to the simulator phase. For a person with no experience shifting or driving a tractor trailer the simulator were a great way to ease a person in. However they proved problematic when we went on the actual trucks. In the simulator room when shifting the machines were designed so your rmp's had to be at 1500 before shifting. That was 3rd through 10th gear. Only during test 1 during a short free way run did I use 10th gear. When I got on the truck I was constantly reving to high. I was trying to shift at 1500 for everything, even after spending some time on the trucks I was still making mistakes the same ones over and over. As the more experience members here will testify each truck is different and each one requires you to shift at different rpms. I learned this over basically a two week period behind the wheel. There were certain tractors you shifted gears between 1400-1500 rpms for gears 3rd through 6th and 1600-1700 rmp's 7th through 10th. On another truck you shifted gears for everything at 1100 rpms. Finally there was the truck I tested on. I was lucky enough, blessed to have been given about two hours of one on one time with the person most students call the head instructor. We went out on his truck (well the one other instructors call his) My shifting was horrible the first time absolutely pathetic after we got back I was certain I was getting my walking papers. Instead we took a ten minute break and headed back out with him driving. He explained my mistakes and then explained how to drive his tractor. Forget the rpms and mph he said. Instead he said listen to the engine , feel what the truck is saying, understanding those two things is the most important things when shifting he explained. Now before I move on. I passed my backing test on a Tuesday. With pre trip and backing out of the way there was one hurdle left, The road test. So this is where training days 16-21 come into play. Day 16. I remember this day just being horrible, I couldn't do anything right, my shifting was just off. Day 17. My first time around I managed to shift without much problems; I was clutching and shifting just right, everything was going great. There where three other students on the truck with me. After they went I got my second turn. I started out strong and then I grindedπŸ˜– and that single grind threw my game off. The rest of the second round was a mess. For the record the other three didn't fair much better either the second time around. Day 18. Where is 3rd gear??? I couldn't find 3rd gear. That entire day I could not find 3rd gear I could find everywhere other gear but not third. My shifting was so bad in the morning before lunch I wasn't clear to go on the road, that was a serious slap in the face. After lunch I came back and after a few times around the practice loop. I got cleared to go on the road. I stalled out once when I couldn't get into 3rd gear when coming to a stop. Another time I stopped in 5th gear and instead of shifting down to 3rd gear, I left it in 5th and some how by the grace of God I had enough clutch control not to stall out. By the time day 18 ended my confidence had improved. Day 19. Who the hell needs 3rd, 4th, 5th and all the other gears when you have 2nd gear?πŸ˜•πŸ˜πŸ˜. Yep Day 18 I couldn't find 3rd gear to save my life. Training Day 19 I had a live affair with second gear. No matter what I did I kept shifting to second gear. Normally you would do a few practice laps then head out on the road course. After the completion of my second lap. I was bumped from the driver seat😑😣😐. I didn't get a chance to drive anymore that day Day 20. The training day lasted two hours. There was me and one other student after two hours of us grinding gears and stalling out he cut the training day short. I later saw he wrote that I shouldn't be on the road my shifting was horrible, speed management was also terrible. Day20. Monday. At the Waterloo school if you can pass all three D.O.T test by 4:30pm Monday after on Wednesday between 4 and 5:30 pm you will head back to Cedar Rapids CRST training center. By that time I had been in Waterloo for three weeks, three weeks of living in a hotel room. Three weeks of tv dinners, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or fast food from taco bell or Wendy's. The morning started out rough but by the time we were going to lunch everything was coming together. I decided after lunch I was going to roll the dice and test. I was watching the clock. 3:30 came and I was ready, then the two way started sqwaking about four students who wanted to test. The instructor I was with shook his head. Only of them is ready he said. The other's are not even close. I asked where I stood in his opinion? Your about 80% ready. 80%πŸ˜• ??? Now most people would have been happy with that. Decided that was good enough. For me I didn't see I had an 80% chance of passing I saw I had a guarantee rate of 20% of failing and that was just unacceptable in my book. Looks like I would be there another week. To be continued....

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Day 21-The road test. I was horrible at shifting😐 absolutely down right horrible. But I stuck with it. Over the course time by that time which would have been roughly two weeks of actual shifting time, well not a complete 14 days probably closer to a solid 8hrs spread out over 14 days. I got my rhythm down with using the clutch and shifter. (Reving) to high was still an issue. So Day 21. I arrived at class waiting to be assigned an instructor. I was assigned to the lead instructor one and one. We hit the road at 7:30 am my first time out didn't go well. By the time we got back I was flustered I was trying to control my nerves. I was discouraged. So round two. The instructor drove over the next 30-40 minutes I watched and listened as he drove. We came back to the school took a break and headed back out. My second time around it was like a second person was behind the wheel. I was having an issue with 4th gear for some reason 4th gear was my arch nemesis that roundπŸ˜ πŸ˜‚. We complete the lap and pulled into the school. The instructor grabbed his stuff and said stay here your testing right now , your beyond ready. I sat there stunned. I had actually gotten the go ahead to do my road test. So ten minutes later we are off. During the road test they want to see your head moving. My head was moving I was checking my mirrors every five seconds. Number two they want commentary, explain what your doing, what your watching, what's around you. My God I commented on every thing, I babble on, I spoke about my speed, cars passing, signs, the weather, direction of travel I spoke of everything, information overload!!! So during the drive test. There is a portion when you do a safety stop and you explain how you will put out your safety triangles if you have an emergency and need to stop. So after completing that I started back out or attempted too. I went to shift into 3rd to get going and all the sudden I couldn't get it into 3rd gears, the tractor started to rumble and shake, I was stalling out, this was an auto failure! I was starting to panic, the world was coming apart. The truck was shutting down! First gear ! Shift to first gear, I shifted to 1st and then to second, we were rolling, I found 3rd. From 3rd gear I went to 5th gear. I would lose points for it, but the lead instructor early had told me avoid 4th gear, go from 3rd to 5th gear. The rest of the ride was uneventful. As we pulled into the school yard I parked place the truck in neutral, set my breaks. The testor sat marking stuff off their clip board. They were making way too much. Finally they turned and looked at me. Okay we're finished. My heart sank I had failed. I was πŸ˜­πŸ˜ πŸ˜•πŸ˜πŸ˜«πŸ˜΅. I however took a deep breath and asked what I needed to improve to pass next time? I of course knew my shifting needed work. The testor went over where I needed work (shifting) but said on the road I would get more experience. She said over all I had done fairly well. I thanked them for their input. Tomorrow, tomorrow I thought I am going to pass, I am going to test and pass, I had it! My test or as we exited the tractor told me remember after lunch you don't come back, you come back for the evening classes.πŸ˜• I froze up wait a minute I said, evening classes? My testor stared at me and said yes evening classes after you pass all three of your test you move to evening classes, next Wednesday you will head back to Cedar Rapids. I passed? Yes they said , you're allowed to lose 31 points and pass, you came no where even close to losing 31 points. Congratulations I had done it I had passed the last of my D.O.T test πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸŽ†. Not only had I passed I had done it on my first try. I give all the credit to God and my Lord and savior Jesus. Remember control. When you pass your road trip your going to want to do a back flip off the truck. At both CR.England and CRST student had failed their driving test for failure to use 3 points of contact. I meet one student who had done just that. As punishment he was made to enter and exit a truck 30 times using 3 points of contact. After finishing he was advised he had passed. So the test where out of the way now it was time for night classes

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Joseph!

If you keep this up you're gonna be a truck driver! Imagine that! smile.gif

Army 's Comment
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Congrats!!

's Comment
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Congratulations!!

Han Solo Cup's Comment
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Absolutely fantastic! It was a pleasure and an honor to read your roller coaster of emotions and determination. Thanks for documenting everything for the rest of us.

Joseph L.'s Comment
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Congratulations Joseph!

If you keep this up you're gonna be a truck driver! Imagine that! smile.gif

Thank you old schoolπŸ˜ƒ. On Monday I got my company ID badge. I meet with a driver manager and she was trying to figure where I belonged after several questions she said okay your a "driver" it was weird to hear someone call me that. For the record though I still consider myself a student though, maybe after a year or two of experience I will be comfortable enough and feel like I have earned the right to call myself "Driver"

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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