Decision Time ..

Topic 2553 | Page 2

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Starcar's Comment
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You can practice your shifts sitting in a chair, or on a bed....its just practice, practice practice....YOU CAN DO IT !!!! and it doesn't have to be perfect when you test out...it just has to work....grinding gears is something oyu will do until you step out of the truck for the last time,,whether its after 1 day or 40 years...

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Roger, You've got to go for it. I completely agree with Daniel. There's not a one of us on this forum who didn't have second thoughts and nearly threw up our hands and gave up at some point in our training. I remember in my driving school there was a young man that I had to literally take by the hand and force him to keep at it and not give up. I treated him like he were my own child, and he still calls me almost every week now after more than a years time has gone by. He calls me because I was the one person who made him keep at it, and now he knows how much that really meant to his future career. What was his problem? He couldn't down shift!

The instructor gave up on him, but not me. I got him in my car one day after we had been driving and took him to the Dollar Store and told him to go inside and buy himself a toilet plunger. Then I showed him how he could sit down in a chair and pretend that plunger was his gear shift. I told him to pretend he had his foot on the clutch and practice that rhythm of double clutching and throttling the engine and moving that shifter. I told him to do that all night if he had to until he could get a feel for the motions of it all. This kid was so uncoordinated that he was literally the type who can't chew gum and walk. The next day when it was his turn to drive I saw the instructor just settle down in his seat with a look of total contempt on his face, trying to brace himself for the inevitable bull ride we were about to take. You know what? He showed a great deal more coordination, and the instructor sat up and grinned. He wanted to know what happened, but we kept our secret to ourselves.

Look, double clutching and down shifting is the hardest part of what you are learning right now as far as getting the rhythm and coordination of it down. The people testing you don't expect you to be an expert right now. You should have heard how that transmission was complaining when I took my driving test. The state tester even said something to me at the end about how I struggled with the gears, but she noticed that I hung in there and recovered even after several botched attempts.

Hey, if you fail the test, then you go back and work on the things that you are weak on and try it again - Lots of people fail on their first attempt, do not be afraid to fail. Most schools will work with you a little extra if you ask them to, but if you tell them you've decided to just go for the class B then they don't have to do any extra work and they will gladly accommodate you on that. You paid the money, you deserve the chance to be the best you can be. Class B is like getting second place, you're not getting what you came for, you're selling yourself way to short. Pluck up some courage and go for it - You can do this - We are all pulling for you because we know what a waste that Class B license is. You've go to find some extra resolve and take a chance on yourself. I seriously wish I could be right over there with you because I would not let you go through with this plan, I would treat you just like I did that young man in my school and make sure you did not waste your time and money by selling yourself short.

Go For It!

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

You said you had 3 '2 hour' drive sessions. And your giving up? Most people take the entire drive class and only learn it a day or so before testing. You said you had a few weeks left until testing. Continue to work with the shifting until closer to testing time. Don't cop out now with so few days at driving. You have a few weeks left. Use them. If at the end of the next few weeks and you still dont have it down then go for the Class B but don't give up until you have no choice.

Schism's Comment
member avatar

I am in the same privately owned school that Roger is . The investment of $5200 was nonrefundable after the first 5 minutes of the orientation day on Jan 6th.

We have just completed our 3rd week . Training ends Feb 18th and testing is Sat Feb 22nd . There are a total of 12 Drive appointments On Road. Only 2 drivers have progressed to Drive #5 and are pulling trailers . The delay for the other drivers in the class is due to not passing the Gen,Air Brakes and Combo the start of the second week . Without the NH Green Permit Card the instructors will NOT take the driver on road and their on course drive appointments were delayed as well .

For those prospects being behind the schedule a delay in skill means running dangerously close to test time with the State Trooper . The school offers no 'additional' drive time .

I am not saying Roger is doing the right thing or not , that is his call . I can say that the support here is amazing but you folks need to understand the entire scenario here . Its NOT a mega in house training and there is almost no wiggle room for failure when he is already 2 weeks behind on driver appointments . A step down to a synchronized tranny may seem like a tragedy to some folks here but I support Roger's fortitude by sticking it out and making a decision to complete the CDL-B .

Schism.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Roger H.( aka Sinapu)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Bro!

Old School's Comment
member avatar
The school offers no 'additional' drive time .

I don't know which school you guys are at, but that is a most unusual situation because these schools want as many people to pass as they possibly can. The reason behind this is that the state is usually monitoring their success rate and bases their willingness to provide funding and grants to their program for tuition dollars on that number. We had a lady in the driving portion of my school who was on her third additional week of training just so they could get her through the driving test. She never paid a dime extra for this, but I would say that in Rogers situation it might be worth a few extra dollars after paying 5,200.00 to make sure he got what he came for. Please don't misconstrue our comments as being critical of your choice Roger, we just want to see you come out on top, and over the years we've found that some folks just need a little push to get them there.

We wish you all the best!

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

Based on Schism's and all of your very supportive posts, I've gotta ask the question, does anyone think if I were to switch to a Company Sponsored Training Program, they would give me more time being that they have a vested interest in making sure I master the art of down -shifting? I certainly feel if I had more time to learn it ,I would. Schism and I have had many conversations, even before class began, thanks to this wonderful forum and I have the utmost respect for him and his unique perspective on our class.. It doesn't hurt that he is one of the two drivers that have already progressed to hauling the trailer and is looked up to by the rest of us who gets something brand new thrown to us everyday..

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

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

Thanks OldSchool ! I understand the motivational factor as in most cases I find myself doing the motivating. At this point I'm trying to think logically about my choices. Obviously having to switch to a B doesn't sit well with me, but at 200/hr to get extra help, I'm sort of between a rock and a hard place..

Thanks again for your continual vast of knowledge and experience!

Schism's Comment
member avatar

I want to see Roger get what he came for ...just so that is clear . The current stress is starting drive appointments 10 days late and not moving to On Road during drive #2 . Additionally ....The school hires a State Trooper detail to test on site preventing the current permit holders from having to test at the DMV on the State schedule ...which can be as many as 8 to 10 weeks out. A pretrip, skills or road test failure on Feb 22 will get expensive having to hire an instructor, a truck and a Trooper detail to retest . An alternative would be hire the instructor and truck and retest at the dmv...sometime late April with a long delay since the last drive.

Now it's been said many times the initial investment in time and money should be a secondary consideration to getting the CDL A .

Is it possible to recover from being behind schedule in a small school with a tight schedule ? YES. But at the beginning of the course the instructor said that in this scenario the student may not have the time to complete all 12 drives before test day. Is an abbreviated drive history optimal to take a test while driving 60' in downtown Concord Nh . NO .

I don't know what Roger should do . But those are all the details I could come up with.

S

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.

Dm:

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.

DMV:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Roger, you know what's really odd to me about your whole situation is that most of the time when you go to a private school they are willing to give you some extra help - after all you are the paying customer, and they want you to be satisfied. You are more than likely to get sent home at a company sponsored training program if you are not catching on quickly. They are more fast paced in their approach because they are trying to sign up new drivers to their company and they want to get those folks who are catching on more quickly rather than have to spend a whole lot of time on the folks who need it.

This is just a suggestion. You quote the price of 200 dollars for an hour of extra instruction. If that is one on one time with you and an instructor in the truck together I would say you really should try that. I guarantee you that, unless you were just a total clutz, that I could have you down shifting well enough to pass that driving test in an hours time of one on one time together. Now, if you still can't do it after that extra money, then settle for the Class B. If there is an instructor that you think is more helpful than the others then I would request that person for that extra time if possible.

My biggest concern for you here is that you may not even be able to find employment with that Class B license. There are definitely jobs available for a Class B driver, but so many of them require that one year experience benchmark. If you are out the 5,200.00 for tuition and still can't get a job you are in a worse situation than you started with in the firs place.

Here's a tip I just thought about on down shifting. The timing, or the rhythm of the double clutching isn't as important on down shifting as as it is on up shifting because you are not trying to mesh those gears when the RPMs fall into the proper range. If the coordination of the whole process is what's eating your lunch try taking a little more time in between your clutch pump. Give yourself time to rev the RPMs and watch when it is getting up to about 1500 and then pump that clutch and move the shifter into gear. If you can ever get it to work right a few times your mind begins to understand the whole rhythm of it all and it becomes easier to execute. I know it's a daunting challenge at first, especially when you've never been exposed to it before.

Let us know how it all comes out, we're not going to be critical of your decision, we just want to see you in a big rig!

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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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