Decision Time ..

Topic 2553 | Page 1

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Roger H.( aka Sinapu)'s Comment
member avatar

So here's the situation .. I'm almost halfway through Cdl school .I passed all three tests and have my A permit.My problem is downshifting, for the life of me i can't put it all together ,consistantly, even after (3) 2hour drive sessions . I might have to switch to a B test.This really sucks. i had prehire letters waiting for me...

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Eric P.'s Comment
member avatar

It took me a while to get the hang of Down shifiting as well. Where Up shifitng is a 2 step process: Step 1: Clutch, Neutral Step 2: Clutch, Gear.

Down shifting is a 3 step process: Step 1: Clutch, Neutral Step 2: REV! get up to 1400 rpm at least. If you have a heavy foot and rev high, pause just a moment to let the RPM's start falling back down Step 3: Clutch, Gear

Eric P.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh and some other small tips... I forgot to mention don't try to down shift until your RPM's are around 1000 and remember not to try to shift to a gear you're going to fast for. As an example if you're going faster than 15 you most likely won't be able to get into 6th.

Roger H.( aka Sinapu)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for all of the motivational feedback, unfortunately the one thing this class doesn't have is extra time.. I talked with my instructors at the end of class today and decided to try for the B ,for now. A bit of a hit for the ego but I atleast want to come out with a B, instead of spending my limited drive-time trying to perfect the downshift and not being able to obtain either A or B...

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Just a quick question...are you talking about moving to a class B license? If so wouldnt you have to downshift there as well? I would suggest keeping at it. Go for that A. Dont get down on yourself for it not clicking yet. Dont give up. Its not an easy process. What is the actual downshift problem you are having?

Roger H.( aka Sinapu)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your reply! Yes , I'm switching to a B and yes there is shifting as well, but a B truck is synchronized so there is no double-clutching involved. I've grown up on standard-shifting cars and trucks for many reasons ,two of which are more control and fuel economy. The trouble I'm having is getting the timing down of clutching- reving the RPM's -clutching again while shifting. Getting the timing down is my problem, I've got it down mentally but while I do have moments of greatness, the majority of them still suck. As we only have a few weeks left til testing I had to make the decision to go for the B , instead of gambling that I'll get it in time to be ready.

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you know anyone that has a truck you can practice on? And thank you for telling me about the B trucks. Never knew that. Im still fairly new as well. It is definitely tricky. Have you tried to rev the rpms up to maybe 1600-1700 to give you a little more time to make the shift?

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Roger, I do feel like you're selling yourself short. I know this because this is the exact same mistake I made. Back when I started I was afraid to go to a Company Sponsored School because I doubted that I could learn to drive a truck with their fast paced programs. I mean, I in all honesty just didn't think I could do it.

So you know what I did?

I ran away from it. Just like you're doing right now.

Listen man, we've all been where you're at. Before trucking I never drove anything with a clutch pedal. I struggled a lot. And honestly, I almost broke two peoples necks while I was driving because I made the truck jump badly (I'm serious I had to sign paperwork and all that). But it all comes together eventually. Keep practicing it and one day you'll get into that truck and it'll just click.

You really are overthinking this and doubting yourself. There are millions of drivers in this world and they all learned. So why can't you?

Bet on yourself. Life isn't easy, and trucking is a pain in the ass in the beginning. But you'll never reach your goals if you don't take risks. Trucking is a risk. I wake up everyday and risk my life. Your instructor is risking his life by being in the truck with a rookie. Trucking is a risk.

When I thought about trucking I was living in an apartment with my wife. She lost her job and I was making 300$ per week. We weren't getting by and quickly sinking into even more debt. I couldn't go without a job, no one was hiring. I needed to work to make money. So what did I do? I quit my job and went on a bus ride to go to my first company. I wasn't getting anywhere - changes had to happen! I took the risk head on. Here I am with slightly over a year experience at the age of just 22.

So quit backing off because your struggling. You won't get anywhere. We all struggled and eventually we overcame the odds. Bet on yourself, study and envision yourself double clutching. You can do it I'm confident in you.

I been here for awhile. I've seen dozens of folks coming through here and it's always the same thing. I'm struggling with shifting. But every single time they have an "I Graduated" post a few weeks later. You're one of them who will succeed, quit doubting yourself!

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Troy V.'s Comment
member avatar

Roger, I do feel like you're selling yourself short. I know this because this is the exact same mistake I made. Back when I started I was afraid to go to a Company Sponsored School because I doubted that I could learn to drive a truck with their fast paced programs. I mean, I in all honesty just didn't think I could do it.

So you know what I did?

I ran away from it. Just like you're doing right now.

Listen man, we've all been where you're at. Before trucking I never drove anything with a clutch pedal. I struggled a lot. And honestly, I almost broke two peoples necks while I was driving because I made the truck jump badly (I'm serious I had to sign paperwork and all that). But it all comes together eventually. Keep practicing it and one day you'll get into that truck and it'll just click.

You really are overthinking this and doubting yourself. There are millions of drivers in this world and they all learned. So why can't you?

Bet on yourself. Life isn't easy, and trucking is a pain in the ass in the beginning. But you'll never reach your goals if you don't take risks. Trucking is a risk. I wake up everyday and risk my life. Your instructor is risking his life by being in the truck with a rookie. Trucking is a risk.

When I thought about trucking I was living in an apartment with my wife. She lost her job and I was making 300$ per week. We weren't getting by and quickly sinking into even more debt. I couldn't go without a job, no one was hiring. I needed to work to make money. So what did I do? I quit my job and went on a bus ride to go to my first company. I wasn't getting anywhere - changes had to happen! I took the risk head on. Here I am with slightly over a year experience at the age of just 22.

So quit backing off because your struggling. You won't get anywhere. We all struggled and eventually we overcame the odds. Bet on yourself, study and envision yourself double clutching. You can do it I'm confident in you.

I been here for awhile. I've seen dozens of folks coming through here and it's always the same thing. I'm struggling with shifting. But every single time they have an "I Graduated" post a few weeks later. You're one of them who will succeed, quit doubting yourself!

Perfectly said! This man knows his stuff Roger! You CAN do it man!

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

What did we both have in common? Well, I'm not a stranger to struggling on downshifting. In Fontana, on the day before our actual test we went on the road to practice. And let me tell you something. I couldn't downshift to save my life. Let me be more clear, I frustrated the instructor to a point she didn't know what to say, a fellow student started coaching me. I stalled in traffic multiple times and almost stalled on the interstate. I got off the truck and literally almost cried because I thought I was destined to fail after today's disgustingly poor performance.

I went to sleep in depression thinking to myself how I'm going to tell my wife that I failed. I failed on the test and was rejected the job, now I'm coming home empty handed. The thought was like a sharp needle going through my brain.

I woke up the next morning. Tried not to think about it. I thought all day and last evening about it. I asked myself what I did wrong.

By the time the test came I absolutely refused to go home empty handed. I wasn't going to take it, I'm better than that. I took the test and scored the second best out of the class and my downshifting was just fine.

Downshifting is difficult for everyone. There's no one that comes into trucking knowing it all. To this day I will still grind a downshift here and there.

You paid money for this, you cannot just go for the class B. As harsh as it may be, that's a failed job. You came for a Class A and you even got companies wanting you already. Clearly they have faith in you, yes? Return the favor and have faith in yourself.

Interstate:

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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