Driving Experience Before Trucking

Topic 27489 | Page 1

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Michael K.'s Comment
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Hello everyone I recently found this site and I love how helpful and informative everyone is so I signed up and will be doing the test prep on here as well.

I’m going to be going to cdl school here in the near future and I’m extremely excited, but aware that this is going to be a challenge like I haven’t faced before. My main concern is I have little experience with city driving or high traffic areas because I grew up in a very rural area and never ventured out much. Nothing will change my mind on wanting this as a career and I’ll get through whatever comes my way, but I’d be lying if I said the idea of going through downtown or even coming up on a complex intersection doesn’t get the nerves going. So I’m just curious if it’s normal or should someone pursuing this career have more experience in those areas before doing it in a semi.

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I've lived in the Chicago suburbs all my life but the first few times driving a truck in the traffic on the highways around Chicago was extremely nerve racking. I'm sure knowing the area helped a little bit but driving a truck through traffic is nothing like a car so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Most of your time driving wont be in a city any way.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Tom Kilmer's Comment
member avatar

I learned to drive at a very early age and surprisingly I had learned it on my own by just observing my father. But till that date I had never driven a car on road. Though I knew the functions of different pedals and how to shift gears and all and everything else related to driving but I have never tried it before. I took my car keys, sat onto the driver’s seat and ignited the engine. That was the first time I had ever ignited the engine of my car. My hands began to tremble and sweat droplets started to accumulate over my forehead. But since I do not have a give-up attitude, therefore I released the handbrake, pressed the clutch pedal, shifted the lever to 1st gear, clenched the steering wheel tightly with both of my hands and began releasing the clutch pedal slowly and within a fraction of second the car started to move. I swear, though I was anxious but that was the best feeling ever. As the car moved, I increased the speed and kept on changing the gears and I was very happy that I could do it all for the first time correctly without anyone’s assistance. Though I was having some difficulty to judge the left end of the car but still with every passing moment my level of confidence increased.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I've lived in the Chicago suburbs all my life but the first few times driving a truck in the traffic on the highways around Chicago was extremely nerve racking. I'm sure knowing the area helped a little bit but driving a truck through traffic is nothing like a car so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Most of your time driving wont be in a city any way.

Hmm... did Chicago in and out one day... both in rush periods. Out a couple days later in rush period. Construction on all. Honestly, for me it was less stressful than I expected! Just assume and expect the worst, be prepared for any/everything.

I have plenty of this experience prior to CDL but it really was not as bad as I feared!

good-luck.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Handling traffic congestion in and around urban areas is different for everyone. I grew up in the North East, 'nuff said.

However like everything else in this business; experience is the absolute best teacher.

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