CFI Training - Truck Dynasty, Springfield, MO

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FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 1

Out in front of the motel at 6:30am to catch the van to school (about a 20 minute ride). After arriving, we got settled into the classroom and did paperwork. The students that didn't have their CLP went out to get a DOT physical and urine test, and got materials to study for the permit (they're testing tomorrow). The ones that had all three before coming to school watched a video covering pretrip inspection in the meantime. After the other students got back, we watched videos on health and safety, took an hour break for lunch, and then another video and discussion on HOS and logbooks. We also went over map reading, and had a quiz about the day's topics. At the end of the day (6pm) we headed back to the motel, and I had about an hour or so of homework on pretrip.

I've been told that I'll be on the range for most of the day tomorrow.

That's all for today, folks. Thanks for reading.


A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


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.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 2

Went out on the range this morning, did slow laps around the lot practicing double-clutching and upshifts/downshifts for an hour and a half. Much to my surprise, I was chosen to drive bobtail on the road afterwards. Ended up fulfilling a long-time "bucket list" item, as we were driving on the old Route 66! Never expected to do it in a truck! Anyway, after getting back to the school, we had our lunch break, then I spent the rest of the day doing straight backing and in-cab pretrip.

Back at the motel now, time to do my homework!

Thanks for reading!


"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Turtle's Comment
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Good luck FreakTrain. Many future CFIers will read this. You're helping a lot of people.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 3

Starting the morning with everyone outside doing pretrip on the school's trucks and trailers. The instructors then split us into groups, my group did straight backing for most of the morning. I've got it down pretty good now. Had our lunch break, after lunch it was back to the lot for more backing. The instructors demonstrated and then walked us through the offset back. We spent the rest of the day taking turns with the offset back, with the instructor there to help us if we needed. Lots of fun doing all this on a frozen gravel lot! It's been bitter cold here, good thing we could all fit in the truck. Anyway, back at the motel, working on my homework for pretrip. It's been a long day, but absolutely worth it.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 4

Today was a lot like yesterday, started the school day with pretrip inspection on the school's four trucks and trailers. Getting better at it each time, the homework assignments help you to get it all memorized. After pretrip was completed, we were once again split into groups, my group worked on straight backing and both sight-side and blind-side offset for most of the day. A few students went to the DMV for their CDL exam, the other groups worked on parallel parking and the 90 degree alley dock. The instructors here are awesome, they really go out of their way to help you, as long as you show a good honest effort. They want you to succeed! We had a past graduate from TDDA three years ago stop by briefly, he's been with CFI since day one: "I love it there, the've taken real good care of me."

Time to finish tonight's homework, and thanks for reading!


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.


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.


Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Good luck FreakTrain. Many future CFIers will read this. You're helping a lot of people.

Thanks, Turtle.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 5

Started the day with pretrip inspection on the trucks and trailers (seeing a pattern here?). Afterwards, all of the Week 1 students (my group) were tested on straight-line back and both sight-side and blind-side offset back. I did well on the straight back, but got 7 points on my two offsets. Definitely need more practice on that one. At least I figured out (with the instructor's help) what I was doing wrong, so I'm sure my next time will be better.

After lunch. we went over pretrip inspection, concentrating on the in-cab and air brake check. We took turns until the end of the day. We'll be tested on pretrip when we come back on Monday, so I'll be studying it over the weekend.

That's all for now, I'll update on Monday. Thanks for reading.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Day 6 (week 2)

Today started with the usual pretrip inspection practice, then my group took turns on straight backing and the offset back on both sides. Today's offsets were much better than Friday's! Finally getting the hang of it.

After lunch, it was time to start learning the parallel parking manuever. The instructor and my group all got in the cab, and he showed us how to set up and hit our marks. Then we took turns doing it on our own, the instructor keeping an eye on us and helping out when needed. I found it easier to do than the offset, and did well on my two tries.

That wraps it up for today... thanks for reading!

Big Scott's Comment
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So happy to see this. Keep up the good work.

FreakTrain's Comment
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Thank you for the encouragement, Big Scott.

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