I Am Not Confident But Company Wants Me To Take The Driving Test

Topic 24804 | Page 1

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JJlearner's Comment
member avatar

So I got only 8 hours of backing practice on the pad. I am good with straight line backing but I am really not confident about all other 3. But my company wants me to go and take the CDL test. I am pretty sure I am going to fail. Just 8 or 10 hours of pad time - Is that what they normally give?or they are trying to push me and try my luck so my trainer can get the next student and move on? All I can tell for sure is that I am 100% sure that I won't be able to do backing in that test.

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

What company are you training with? Frankly, I believe very few students feel confident about backing at test time. But the examiners aren’t looking for perfection just to see if you have the basic idea. And you also get plenty of pull ups and GOAL’s.

I went to CDL school and then company training and wanted more backing practice also, at both places, I asked for more but they had their set procedures and offered me no extra way to practice, but I passed the examination just fine. I think I could get 12 penalty points and I only racked up 4. Ironically, you do get to practice when you get out on your own. Sometimes I take extra time at warehouses to practice my set ups if the lot is not busy and that’s because I’m still working on my technique.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Take the test, and give it your best effort. Eight hours of pad time is quite a lot. I went to a private school and I probably had a total of eight hours behind the wheel for everything. Look, nobody really knows what they're doing when they take their test. You aren't expected to be polished and perfect.

Stop your negative thoughts if you can. Put on your game face and muster up some courage. Go over the backing scenarios in your mind, executing each of them flawlessly as you think them through. Your biggest challenge is the mental challenge and you've already begun failing it. This is a test. That's what trucking is everyday - a test. Successful truckers don't have to be super skilled at maneuvering their rig, but they do have to be patient, confident, cautious, and intent on getting the job done. All of those things are mental challenges, none of them require any particular motor skills.

Do you realize that confidence is one of the biggest things the tester is looking for? If you're backing into a spot and it's obviously not going well, the tester wants to see if you just fall apart and keep screwing it up worse - that's a mental error, it's not a lack of skill. They would like to see you recognize there's a problem, G.O.A.L. (get out and look), and calmly pull up and start again. If you miss a gear, they don't want to see you struggling to keep forcing it, they would like to see you confidently recover by maybe getting back in the gear you were in and try getting the speed and RPM correct so you can get it right.

Slow and easy wins this race. From here on out you will be tested. Just yesterday I got tested in a really tight maneuver in a parking lot. I needed to make a turn which in the end was too tight to make without crushing the front of a parked car. I tried it slowly and cautiously and I finally had to back out and set it up differently so it would work. Trucking is all about being tested. You've had plenty of time on that backing pad. It's time to get serious with this and move on to the next level. Your company needs a driver, not a student. You're going to have to win this battle up there in your head right now. The skills will take years to develop, but that mental stuff needs to be conquered now.

Go get 'em tiger!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Also, I think it makes students nervous when someone is watching. It would probably help a lot if there was some way to let a student have some private practice time where the only thing that could be fun over would be the traffic cones. It always amazes me how much better I can back when no one is watching

Old School's Comment
member avatar
It always amazes me how much better I can back when no one is watching

Bruce, that's a perfect example of what I'm saying. The battle is a mental one. The only thing that changes when someone is watching you is what's going on in your head. Everything else remains the same.

Pete's Comment
member avatar

Take a deep breath and do what you know how to do, try not to let that test word enter your thoughts, you will just add unnecessary pressure to yourself. I doubt they would push you to test if they had doubt about your abilities, so do the same and have faith in your abilities. Good luck.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Little side story from my CDL training. My instructor said he had a student who was probably the best backer he ever had. So when the guy tested out he did everything perfectly except one little thing. He backed a few inches past the rear boundary. Now he still had all his G.O.A.Ls', but he signaled he was done from the cab, got out and was informed it was an automatic fail. So, don't forget the test etiquette. It's as important as the backing itself when testing.

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.
JJlearner's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Bruce, Old school and Pete. This is why I love trucking truth. Reading your comments really made me more confident and I am less tensed now. I am taking the test on Tuesday next week. Hi Bruce I am with Prime but taking test in Pittston, PA. Here prime doesn't have a testing pad and they use a rival state recongnised CDL school. I am not sure it is just a rumor but people are saying that they purposely make students fail so that they can make more money from prime. But I don't how it works if a student does things perfectly. So I am going for test on tuesday and try my best. Thank you all.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
I am not sure it is just a rumor but people are saying that they purposely make students fail so that they can make more money from prime.

Total rumor, and very typical of the type of nonsense that gets communicated between trainees at truck driving schools. Prime is definitely trying to get you to the point of being a productive member of their team. Don't waste your time and emotions on the hearsay and gossip that runs wild among the newbies. Be a professional. Stay focused and get the job done. If you fail your first attempt it's not a huge problem. There are many professional drivers right here in this forum who failed two or three times before getting their CDL.

You've got this - trust yourself - make it happen!

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

Every single person I’ve encountered in my training has been committed to helping me succeed

I think their mind set is that my success is their success.

Some are goof balls and some are gruff, but they all want to help you be a good and safe driver.

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