Starting School Tomorrow

Topic 23800 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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Tomorrow is a big day for me. I'm 66 years old and I just retired from a 49 year construction career. Truck driving has always held an attraction for me and now I'm going to live the dream. Thanks to Trucking Truth and the practice exams, I passed the written tests with flying colors. I passed the medical exam, but with one problem. My blood pressure was high, so instead of giving me 2 years on the card, I only got 1 year. Now I have to concentrate on losing some weight and exercising more to pass the meds in another year. (The only things harder than my muscles are my arteries. Hehe) I'm a little nervous about school. I'll probably be the oldest student so I don't know exactly what to expect. But I am still excited about this new challenge and new adventure. I have a 14 year old grandson who is the light of my life, so I will definitely sign on with a company that has a ride along program. I want to say that I have read everything I could on Trucking Truth over the past 2 years while planning this career move. The knowledge I have gained has been invaluable, so I want to thank Brett and his staff for all the help. And if anybody has any tips for this old fart, please let me know!

G-Town's Comment
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Good luck and best wishes for success!

Brent R.'s Comment
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Good luck I’m in week 4 of my school we have students from 20 years of age to 60 in there from all walks of life, said they have had a man age 77 go through and get his CDL.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I've now completed my first week. Very intense week. We start at 6 am and go until 4:20 pm. I'm the oldest person in the school by at least 5 years. Most of my classmates are in their 20's. At the end of every day I was completely exhausted. I was very surprised that we actually drove the truck on the highway the first day. I did really well on upshifting, but I'm having trouble with downshifting; although I did make progress as the week progressed. But even my 20 something co-drivers had difficulty with it. Our instructor makes matters worse because he makes for a tense atmosphere. It's hard to think when the stress level is over the red line, at least for me. I have to keep reminding him that I'm a senior citizen, but so is he, therefore I think playing the sympathy card is not working. Mental stress is so much harder on me than physical labor. I can't remember being so exhausted as I am now. Thank goodness I get to rest this weekend. Looking forward to week two.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Bruce

After reading many diaries, you sound like you are dealing with what others have in the past. I am sure it will get easier and I look forward to following along your journey.

Best of Luck Chris

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Try to block out his delivery, focus on the content of his message. If it becomes unbearable ask him what he thinks you need to do in order to improve.

A couple of points on downshifting;

- try not to rush it.

- avoid the tendency to push in the clutch beyond 1-2”, the clutch brake kicks in and will foul the shift.

- let the RPMs to drop to about 800 before attempting to downshift.

Repetition cures most of the issues you are having. A week from now you’ll be much better. Each day; typically half as bad as the day before. Eventually? Not bad at all...

Good luck.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all the encouragement. Like most of you, I'm now off for Thanksgiving until Monday. Wednesday I finished week #2 of the three week program. Things are starting to come together. Shifting up and down is becoming routine, although not perfect. Got a rare compliment from my instructor. I've learned not to take anything personally from my instructor, just to soak up everything I can because he is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to teaching. He knows he has limited time to get us ready for the pre trip and driving test, so I've come to respect his focus on making our success his goal. School is tough, but the program I'm in is a well oiled machine and everybody I've encountered is a top notch professional, in my opinion. Like most situations in life, if you treat others with respect, you will get respect in return. Attitude, not aptitude, determines altitude. (ok, aptitude does help). Another positive benefit from my training: I drive one hour each way to and from school. During my commute, I try to observe truck driver behavior and driving techniques. I have come to a greater appreciation of how professional, safe and courteous drivers are, almost without exceptions. Now I try to drive my car in a way that is safer and more courteous to truck drivers. I'm looking forward to being a truck driver myself and I think I'll be proud to be part of the driving profession.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey there! Thanks for all the great suggestions, especially G-Town I passed my CDL skills test today. Wasn't pretty, as they say, but I got it done. My three weeks in school was a mixed bag of positive experiences. Grueling schedule for a senior citizen, but getting through it is very satisfying. Since I was by far the oldest guy, it was kind of like being able to go back to high school and enjoy the younger generation. We had a lot of fun mixed in with the long hours, boredom waiting our turns, and learning lots of great new stuff! What a great adventure and great introduction into the trucking profession.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations on passing the skills test. Best wishes for continued success.

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