CDL Training At A Local College Truck Driving Academy

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Brent R.'s Comment
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Day one of the 8 week course was a long day of reading and studying but a successful day. Its starts at 8:00 am -4:00 pm with an hour off for lunch Monday thru Friday. Went over rules, everyone had to submit paper work such as the CLP receipt (Basically proof that we had been to the DPS office and applied and met the credentials to obtain a Texas CDL) , DOT medical card, and Drug screen results. Went over Academy rules such as no hat worn inside of building and classroom, must purchase collared button down shirts with the trucking academy logo on them to wear tucked in everyday. Also have a time clock where you clock in and out and a sign in sheet daily, said that prospective employers may check on applicants times of arrival and such to school. Instructor said last class they had 32 trucking companies there for a career day looking to hire the newly licensed students. Many of the students tuition was paid for by the Texas Workforce Commission. The first day was then on computer taking a practice test for the section 14 rules test at the DPS office. It was 55 questions and we had to keep taking it and studying until we made a 100, (I took it 4 times) once we made a 100 which was around 3pm for most of us they told us to go to the DPS office and take the computer test and come back the next day, I passed, tomorrow we start on the general knowledge test and start preparing for that test. They said the first 2 weeks is mainly studying and taking practice tests and going to the DPS office to take the test until we get our actual CDL Learners Permit. Walking around during breaks they have a pretty neat set up with different displays of the brake system and such with the actual parts, a driving simulator, many different kinds of tractors outside and different trailers, box, flatbed, reefer , tanker, cattle hauler. More to come later as we get going. I'm 47 years old and a retired school teacher, many people were around my age and this is their second or 3rd career, some were younger and was their first major job looking for a successful and lasting career.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Army 's Comment
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Great, nice first post. I look forward to following your blog.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brent R.'s Comment
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Thanks Army, last 2 days has been preparation for the General Knowledge test that I was a little ahead of everyone thanks to the High Road training program, we have to listen to 4 hours of audio and the lady talking tells us when to highlight in our book, once we are done with that we take the practice exam which is 239 questions, once you make a 100 on the practice exam they send you to the DPS office to take the test, so I went and took the test today at the DPS office and passed, so i will now start studying and doing the online exams at the academy for Air Brakes and Combination, so that is all I have to report today, kinda boring i guess but glad I have the big test out of the way,

Brent R.'s Comment
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Took the last 3 of my tests today and passed so was issued the CLP , take my advice and start studying before school with the training manual on TT, it really helped me get ahead of the class, now why they are working on this I can start studying for my Hazmat and Doubles and Triples in class which I will take when I get my official CDL , Very impressed with this school, everyone is professional, they expect a lot of us and that is fine too, got my CPAP machine as well and its nice to know that its all electronic as far as the records go that I will need to show my DOT physician in 90 days to show that I am wearing it and I will then get my 1 year medical card.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Brent R.'s Comment
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Today was the 5th day of class, me and another guy who have passed all our tests and have our CLP’s worked on the pre trip on a truck and trailer they have parked in garage next to classroom, we also started doing the lessons for Hazmat and Dbl and tripled which we will take the tests when we go to get our CDL’s in a few weeks.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Brent R.'s Comment
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Not sure if anyone reads these but I’ll keep posting for a while , today the few that have completed all the testing got In the simulators and worked on double clutching and shifting, first in a parking lot then on a country road with traffic then in the city, it was fun and took a lot of work and I still need lots of practice but for first time felt I did ok, didn’t realize those things are so realistic with shaking and sounds.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Han Solo Cup's Comment
member avatar

There's a large number of us who read these everyday. We live vicariously through you guys until we're able to go ourselves. Keep up the good work; I look forward to following your journey.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brent R.'s Comment
member avatar

Good to hear Han Solo.

Today is the 7th day most of us have our CDL permits, today we did more pre-trip on different trucks and trailers, we also did in cab inspections and did air brake tests, a few of us got to couple a tractor to a trailer, was nice getting out of the classroom, tomorrow is going to be outside and luck would have it cold front moving in and suppose to be wet so gonna dress warm for tomorrow, can’t wait to start doing more stuff outside. One instructor said there will be 2 students to a truck with an instructor, 2 students will go in the morning session 4 hours and then 2 more in the afternoon session, so 4 students assigned to a truck split the time, the trucks we will be driving are the same ones we will be tested in here at the campus since they are certified to do the driving portion of the test here as well on campus, campus is on an old Air Force base outside of town so there are many open areas and places to drive. It’s fun and exciting can’t wait for more.

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.
Brent R.'s Comment
member avatar

Today me and another student spent 4 hours in the truck doing the in cab inspections and air brake tests and the 5 mph roll brake test, our instructor was a cool guy, retired Walmart driver had over 2 million miles with them but drove for other companies before that, lots of knowledge and we asked a lot of questions, after the 4 hours in the truck we went back to class room to work through the modules and watch videos over coupling and uncoupling which we will do tomorrow with the truck and trailer.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Nice, do you have class on the weekends?

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