Sage Cdl Academy, Part Two (driving Practice)

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Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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So today was my first day back at Sage Academy for my driving practice.

If you were looking for part one it doesn’t exist. Part one was simply the classroom portion and was so boring you would rip your hair out if you had to listen to it. It was simply watching videos, going through the book, taking tests, etc. I may go back and do a part one at some point but at this point it isn’t worth reading.

We did get two visits to the driving range of about three hours each but nothing exciting.

So today was my first day back for 12 days to practice driving before my road test on the 14th.

I drove from Buffalo to Rome New York so my day started at 4:30 this morning, and I drove to Rome, took a 30 minute nap, went out to lunch, and headed to the range.

The instructor on duty was new and did not know me so had no idea what I have done what I hadn’t done so he started me doing the straight back, offset back, and parallel park.

I’ve had no problem with the straight back since day one, I am fairly proficient at the offset but I do need practice, and last time I was on the range during part one, I had trouble but was able to get it in the box two or three times, out of a dozen attempts. I was fairly proficient at shifting, and the driving course was no problem.

Today was pretty much the same I was a little rusty at shifting but once around the course and I was OK with that, the straight back was easy, and the offset was decent. I was able to get it in the box although I was crooked.

We tried to parallel park once. I was mostly in the box but my rear was sticking out, and at that point the instructor asked if I wanted to go out on the road. So of course I said yes and away we went.

We drove around through an industrial area for a couple of hours. Lots of turns, stops, lots of shifting, and I did pretty well.

It was a bit humbling, because while I can do all those things, doing them all at the same time, and being nervous at being out on the road was a little bit tougher.

Instructor didn’t do any screaming and didn’t jump out so I assumed I did OK.

When we got back to the course he had me practice my maneuvers. I ask how I did on the road and he said put it this way, normally you don’t go on the road until your fourth drive, so I guess I was doing OK.

I did the straight back again no problem did the offset to her three times and was fairly proficient, and spent about three hours on the parallel park and got it once, barely.

It was about 10 minutes before the day was finished and I decided to call it a day because I was extremely frustrated.

When I walked in the office and handed them the keys, I said the parallel park was kicking my butt. The night instructor was there, an old Air Force guy, and he said well here’s how you do it, and proceeded to tell me what I was doing wrong.

I said wow, I’ll have to try that tomorrow. He asked if I had a few minutes and I said sure I’m just going back to the hotel so I got all the time in the world, so he told my instructor he could takeoff if he wanted, and he went out and showed me once how to do it.

After that I did it three times in a row. It wasn’t pretty but it was in the box all three times. Tomorrow I’ll practice that some more hopefully I can get that down pat.

Hopefully I get a different truck. The one today pops out of 5th gear at random intervals. The instructor hold it in gear while I’m driving.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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The entire four hours today was spent on the range because we were short one instructor

I practiced offset back, and parallel parking for four hours straight.

By the end of the day I had both down pretty well, hopefully I’m still able to do ithem tomorrow

I have clutched so many times my thighs are killing me. I have aches and pains where I didn’t even know I had muscles. At this point, I would welcome an automatic restriction. Hopefully the real thing doesn’t require so many shifts, or I build my thighs up a lot.

I am skipping fifth gear completely in the one truck, I’m pretty sure the tranny is shot. Going from 4th to 6th and back.

I stopped on the way back to the hotel and bought the biggest heating pad I could find. I wish I had two the size of my entire body.

Tomorrow should be one more day on the range, then the rest are on the road I believe.

Turtle's Comment
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If you were looking for part one it doesn’t exist.

Grumpy, you got me brother! I was totally looking for part 1 lol.

Yeah I remember those burning thighs too. Did I mention how I love my automatic now?

Good luck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

If you were looking for part one it doesn’t exist.

double-quotes-end.png

Grumpy, you got me brother! I was totally looking for part 1 lol.

Yeah I remember those burning thighs too. Did I mention how I love my automatic now?

Good luck.

LOL. Thanks

Part one was too boring. And yes, right about now I would happily accept an automatic restriction, LOL

My instructor today was a new (to me) guy, so he had me drive the course, do the parallel park, pull up to the offset cones, do an in cab PTI and brake check, straight back, and offset back, exactly how it will be done for the road test.

He said based on my results I would have passed with flying colors. I forgot to check my bright indicator. Otherwise I got everything and did all 3 backs perfectly with no GOALS and only one pull up.

He told the instructor who relieved him at end of shift I did very well, especially for only day 3.

In another post about being tired I made the below reply. I can’t imagine a better entry for day three, so I will repost it here:

Good God yes. I don’t know when I have ever been this tired. I am fairly certain I have done the offset back and parallel park at least 1,000 times in the last 3 days. I’m sure it hasn’t really been that many, but it has been at least 10 hours of non stop practice. The offset back is at one end of a building about the length of a football field, and the parallel at the other end. We do the offset, drive around the building, do the parallel, and then pull up to the offset. Repeat continuously.

My thigh hurt so bad yesterday I had to lift it with my hands to move it. My shoulders ache from cranking the wheel back and forth.

Add to that that I have sacroilitis ( sharp pain in the hip joint radiating down the leg with painful tingling in the toes, plus an old (permanent) injury where I separated the cartilage along the left front of my rib cage from the ribs that is exacerbated by cracking the wheel all day. It feels like I have been kicked by a horse. I have barely slept in 4 days due to the pain.

And if they called and told me their student for tonight was a no show, I would zip right over there to do it again, and be happy for the chance.

I am 59 years old, have arthritis in every joint, gout, and the above pain, plus a big toe that doesn’t bend and has a lump of bone scar you can see through my boot. Every single step since I broke it at 10 has been painful. I broke my tibia and fibula 8/2017 completely at the ankle, including a chunk off the ankle. It’s all held on with screws and plates. When I was laying on the ground I lifted my leg and my foot was hanging at a 90 degree angle to my leg.

And I am just grateful there is an industry that will give me an unprejudiced chance to earn a good living at my age. As long as they will let me hobble to the truck and climb in and drive I will do so, and be glad for the chance.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Day four.

By the end of day yesterday, I could barely walk. I booked an appointment with the massage therapist this morning

What a difference I still have pain, but now I can sleep normally and shifting doesn’t feel like I’m driving a knife into my hip

Driving today was three parallel parks and 3 offsets, PTI, then out on the road for some night driving.

My instructor took me through downtown Rome on city streets, out on four-lane highways, out on the interstate , and on some real narrow two Lane back country roads, all after dark

She said I did really well and that she was very impressed.

At 65, I have no problem keeping both hands on the wheel. I was nervous as a long tailed cat under a rocking chair. I was fairly certain the truck is going to shake itself apart. I also kind of expected to look in the mirror and see pieces falling off.

I do need to work on calling out hazards, especially bridges in crosswalks. I also a couple of times had trouble getting it in the right gear. I would miss the down shift then have to search to recover. For some reason it always seeed to be downshifting to seventh, I would have trouble getting it in seventh then have to search to find the right gear to recover to. My instructor was puzzled too, Because she watched once and I was right at 25 try and shift the seventh at the right RPMs revving between 800 to 100 and nowhere in that range could I get it to go in, it would just grind and grind and grind.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

G-Town's Comment
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Not exactly sure Grumpy, but maybe you are a little too heavy on the clutch. Just tap it,...more than an inch and it might begin to kick-in the clutch brake.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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We're the same age grumpy and I too has many of the same pains and Screamin joints during school and then during my training. Trust me it will get better. I now have an automatic truck and the only thing that hurts on me now is my shoulders when I put in a 600 mile plus day or you have one of those days when the wind is blowing you all over the place. Keep rocking it brother good luck and God bless.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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Not exactly sure Grumpy, but maybe you are a little too heavy on the clutch. Just tap it,...more than an inch and it might begin to kick-in the clutch brake.

You may well be right. I had to move the seat forward and down to lessen the pain in my hip so maybe I am clutching farther than I think sometimes

The pain isn’t helped by the fact that on the other truck, the one that won’t stay in 5th, the clutch brake is shot so I have to hold the clutch in forever until the gears stop spinning to shift from reverse to 4th and vice versa

Not a lot to report for day 5, except that I have now done a PTI for all 4 instructors, and the last 3 said I would have passed easily. The only complaint was today, and that was that I was doing too much, NY is so backed up they want you to get thru it quickly.

The last 3 instructors have gone through the entire process except road test with me and said I would pass (PTI, brake test, maneuvers), and my instructor for my road drive last night said I did very well, just have to work on calling out hazards. In my defense it was so dark I couldn’t see most bridges and overpassed until I was under or on them. I was driving out in the middle of nowhere, LOL.

I did the parallel quite a few times today with no pull-up at all, just back it in, straighten the wheel and stop. The straight back has never been a problem, and I only need a pull up on the offset occasionally.

I think they are going to have to rent a truck tomorrow because no way are they going to replace the tranny in one day, I wouldn’t think.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

We're the same age grumpy and I too has many of the same pains and Screamin joints during school and then during my training. Trust me it will get better. I now have an automatic truck and the only thing that hurts on me now is my shoulders when I put in a 600 mile plus day or you have one of those days when the wind is blowing you all over the place. Keep rocking it brother good luck and God bless.

Thanks, JD, appreciate the support. Yeah, in the real world, I won't be continuously cranking the wheel from lock to lock, and shifting continuously for 4 hours straight. There will be at least a little time at highway speeds. smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
The only complaint was today, and that was that I was doing too much, NY is so backed up they want you to get thru it quickly.

Wow, I’d love to have a word with the instructor who made such a suggestion. Be thorough Grumpy, don’t allow anyone or anything rush you through the PTI. If the DOT examiner believes you know the material, they will tell you to shorten it up or what to skip.

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.

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