Dean Of Mack's CDL Training Diary

Topic 27354 | Page 6

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Dean R.'s Comment
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The blind-side parallel bit me on the arse. Waited too long to get the tractor in. Apparently that happens to 80% or so of the applicants in Illinois who fail the skills test the first time. I didn't want to be in the 84% who fail some portion of the CDL test in Illinois, but it is what it is. I was nervous and forgot to look for my drive wheels getting close to the boundary. The blind side drive wheels breached the boundary and so did the front corner of the trailer. One of my instructors gave me some additional training and encouragement. Try again Tuesday...


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
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No big deal Dean. Just keep plugging away. You'll get it, and we'll all be watching for your success story.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Good luck Tuesday!


Dean R.'s Comment
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So, I passed the skills retest this morning. I'm glad that is off my shoulders.

I take the driving test Thursday. I can't tell anyone enough how much I long for an automatic transmission! My veteran's knees are aching so much my family says the house smells like a Ben Gay factory!

Rob T.'s Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif I look forward to hearing you passed the test on thursday! Do you feel confident for your road test?

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
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Awesome news, Dean! Glad you're sharing with us. It'll get done, you will prevail.

Andy Dufresne (a.k.a. Rob's Comment
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Good luck thursday.


PackRat's Comment
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You're almost there, Dean! I think the skills part is the most difficult piece of the puzzle. Just take your time, pay attention, exaggerate communication with the examiner, and remember your training during the road test.

The checkered flag is within sight!


Dean R.'s Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif I look forward to hearing you passed the test on thursday! Do you feel confident for your road test?

Thanks Rob. T! I was pretty confident for the road test. I'm not a fan of 10 speeds but I muddled through.

I passed! I was so relieved. My left knee has been elevated with an ice pack almost every night since mid January. The road test was tough. Two uphill stop/starts, four railroad crossings, two school zones, some highway. narrow streets and tough right and left turns. I asked the tester how I was doing at the half-way point and she said I was doing great. I got a 98/100. I almost flubbed the gear change going back into the DMV parking lot, but I managed to remember how to save it. It was that close!

I'm very thankful to this community for the encouraging words and helpful advice.

Now to take some time to go on a couple of college visits with my son (unless those get canceled) and interview with a grain/cattle hauler and a couple of regionals. Schneider is in the running also. I have three offers on the table now.



Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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dancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif Great job driver!!

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