Roehl 2018 Training: My Blog, By Professor X

Topic 23760 | Page 5

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G-Town's Comment
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Good luck with your test...

Is it for graduation or the actual state CDL tests?

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.
PacMan's Comment
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I pray you pass Professor X!!!

Professor X's Comment
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Day 23 - CDL Exam

I made sure to get to bed early last night, but I laid awake for a bit. I would like to say it was because I was nervous about how things would go today... Sadly, I was crushing candies and clashing with clans. Okay, not sadly. I was quite content and enjoyed my evening, yet still made it to sleep at a very reasonable time.

Arrived to work at my usual time, about 20-30 minutes early. Sat in my car and reviewed my pre-trip in my head. I parked right in front of the rig I would be testing in, so I scoured the tractor and trailer, going over the various parts; picturing different aspects in my head, listing and labeling: "Properly mounted, not damaged, not leaking..." It was like an echo.

I also envisioned the numerous times I backed in for my offsets and 90 degree/alley backings. Remembering when and where to turn the wheel, when to keep it straight, when to stop to be "In the box". I also kept reminding myself to stay off of curbs and make sure my turns were wide enough, with no hesitation. We were told the tester typically doesn't like drivers who proceed with TOO much caution.

6:25 am comes about and my instructor comes walking towards the truck. I begin my pre-trip inspection and he assigns me and a fellow classmate to make sure the truck is in tip-top shape. We go over every little detail: check under the hood, around the tractor cabin - inside and out - the coupling, the 5th wheel and frame, the trailer and its various components. Finally, we run a light check and I run an air leak inspection to ensure we have a fully functioning rig for the day.

Although all trainees testing today)were using the tractor my group had been using, I was not first. Instead, one of my cohorts from a different truck went first, and I would soon follow. The waiting was the toughest part. I tried to keep myself busy (for 2.5 hours) by going over sheets, reviewing aspects, reliving drives around the area. Then, while waiting inside the garage, they returned. I waited until I was signaled over and, in passing, my cohort says, "I passed! You got this!" Although happy for this person, I kept my game face on and headed towards my fate.

I should mention right here that: we were informed not everyone would be doing a full pre-trip. Only one would out of the four testing today, while the others would have to inspect coupling and one major section of the rig.

So, guess who got the full inspection? Yup. Me. >,<

No worries, though. I passed with flying colors, but did miss a few things here and there. I actually saw this as a boon because I had more parts to identify, it gave me more room for error. All in all, this part of the exam worked out nicely. With the backing portion next, I figured, No Problem! I got this!

For straight line backing, that was pretty much the case. I only had one small hiccup, yet easily recovered from the tail going too far to one side. Easy peasy! The offset had me doing only one pull-up. I knew I was in and could have finished the backing without the pull-up, but I figured why risk anything. I get two free pull-ups. Just use one ^,^

Then came the 90 degree/Alley backing. It started off quite well. Made some adjustments, got the trailer end to align with the cones. Then... I stopped. I was too deep! After two pull-ups, I found myself in a better position, but facing a new conundrum. I was uncomfortably close to a front cone. I almost couldn't see the dirt between the tire and the cone. I wiggled around and past it and had a tough angle to correct. Never went out of bounds, but did two additional pull-ups to make things easier. Although less than 4 inches from the right side of the cones, I comfortably let off the clutch and backed her in. I stopped where I felt was right for placing the ICC bumper in the box. Jumped out, walked back (the tester had a wonderful poker face >,<). Leaned over... Perfect!

I turned my head with a huge smile, and said, "Beep, beep". The tester giggled and we took off for the driving portion.

I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say, my shifting was smooth (only two clunks), I missed all the curbs, promptly made my way through intersections, rolled windows down and never shifted over the tracks, and kept my speed nearly perfect in every area. Lane changes were a breeze and I even recovered from and kept myself from running a red light. I looked at the tester and said, "You can mark me down for stopping in the crosswalk, no problem. I will take that any day over running a red light." The tester said, "You made the right choice." We smiled and kept the test going.

It was towards the very end when the WORST. POSSIBLE. THING. OCCURRED.

I Stalled. No clue what the hell happened since the splitter was down and I was in 3rd. I damn near lost it (i.e. cried), but the tester told me to keep going. We went for about 3 more miles and a few more turns and stops.

We pulled in and finished the test. The examiner tells me, "I am a common sense, practical tester. The stall was NOT indicative of your driving skill and ability. Don't worry, you passed."

I would have jumped across the seat and given the tester a huge hug, but I kept my composure and just smiled with an epic sigh of relief! I later found out the rig almost inexplicably stalled on the previous driver. That may have played a big role in the examiner's decision.

Thank you all for the well wishes. I passed ^,^

-Professor X

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif great work!

G-Town's Comment
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Congratulations!

Pete M.'s Comment
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Congrats! Been reading your entries with great interest.

PacMan's Comment
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smile.gif

Adam L.'s Comment
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First of all, let me say congratulations on passing! Also, thank you for writing about your experience at Roehl. I have been considering making a career change into trucking for many months now and the Roehl get your CDL program is one of the programs I have been looking at. It is nice to get a feel for what the program is like and your experience with it. However, I am slightly nervous as I have heard it is a fast paced program and I have zero experience driving a vehicle with a manual transmission. However, I am a quick learner and do tend to pick up on things quikly. Would you recommend this program for someone with zero experience?

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.
Pete's Comment
member avatar

Congrats X. I've been following your diary since it began. Thank you for taking the time daily to write here for us.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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Congratulations Professor X!

You've got the easy part knocked out now.

Your diary is well done and a good informative read. I wish you much success out here. good-luck.gif

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