Start Date With Roehl GYCDL Program - Gary, IN Terminal - 8/24/20

Topic 28684 | Page 3

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Verminator's Comment
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Day 11 - Fri 9/4/20 - Better!

Today was a better day.

Shifting was back to 'normal' for me, which means an occasional grind or missed gear, not on every downshift. I think I figured out what my problem was yesterday - seat position. I didn't adjust my seat further back (I'm about 6'2") when taking my turn at driving, and I think I was clutching deeper than normal, probably hitting the clutch brake just enough to foul things up. Only thing I can think of.

Our instructor took us to a new area today, featuring some very tight turns, including a 180 degree right-hander. I had oncoming traffic on that one, and cut back a moment too soon instead of staying wide, and kissed the curb with my rear tandem. Will remember to hold out longer next time on that corner.

Backing practice after lunch went well. I managed three repetitions of all three maneuvers just fine, both right and left side.

Both my co-students had difficult days yesterday, so I could certainly empathize.

I also heard that I probably won't be testing next week - the staff and management agreed that they want to avoid having students testing at different times, and so I will likely test the week of 9/14 along with the rest of my class, which is fine with me. More practice = more experience = smoother.

Hope everyone is doing well, and stay safe!

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Verminator's Comment
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Week 3 - 9/6/20 to 9/12/20 – Practice & more practice.

This last week consisted of more repetition of the three backing maneuvers, along with road trips around the Gary area.

My backing skills were noticeably improved by week's end, and I am able to consistently get the rig into the box for the parallel maneuver, which had been the most challenging for me. I still occasionally screw up my initial setup or entry into the box, but our instructor has shown us how to correct each mistake and get the rig where it needs to be.

On Wednesday, we took a practice CDL exam with a different instructor. I aced the exterior walkaround, then confidently climbed up into the rig to start the in-cab portion. I went through the initial in-cab pre-trip, tug test, and service brake test without issue. Then came the four-part air brake test, which must be completed perfectly - any item missed or performed out of order results in an automatic fail for the entire CDL test. I had been practicing this portion daily, and was confident. However, I guess I attempted to rush through, and completely forgot to release my parking brakes prior to applying the service brake for the applied leak test. I explained each step as I proceeded through the test. Then I stepped on the service brake. My instructor immediately said "That's a failure right there." I was stunned, and thought for a moment he was joking. He obviously read the bewildered expression on my face, and asked "What did you forget?" I began mentally retracing my steps, and my eyes fell upon the parking brake controls. Both were happily set where I had left them - in the applied position. Dammit. I couldn't believe it. I was seething with anger at myself that I could be so careless.

Anyway, I have since been practicing the same procedures, but am making a conscious effort to slow down, and take my time. I guess I'm subconsciously rushing in order to just get the test over with quickly. The instructor called it "The Magic Of The Clipboard." He's not kidding. I performed that pre-trip with my classmates many times over, with no problems. First time I have an instructor with a check sheet sitting next to me, I blow it! Grrrr...

confused.gif

We are scheduled to test next week on Wednesday 9/16.

I know I'm ready, and several different instructors have told me I'm ready and should have no problems. I just can't help worrying (a bit) that I'll pull some bonehead move such as nailing a curb or forgetting something on the airbrake test. I'll just have to take my time, and make sure that doesn't 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.
Verminator's Comment
member avatar

Test day – 9/16/20 – Let's get this over with.

Finally, test day has arrived.

My two classmates and myself were driven to the test site by our instructor. The first in our group passed his test (total test takes about 1.5 hours). I was next.

I missed a few items on the exterior pre-trip due to nervousness, but the examiner was very helpful, and would ask questions to help get me back on track.

My in-cab and air brake tests went fine.

My backing exercises went fine, although I came close to going out of bounds on the parallel, and the rig was a bit "catywampus", and wasn't straight as I had done many times in practice. Regardless, it was inside the box, which is all that matters for the purposes of the test.

My road test went well, although I read every single sign except for the two that the examiner asked me about. Ug. Oh well. She joked that "I had to get you on something!"

In the end, I passed the exam.

smile.gif

A huge weight off my shoulders, and I can now relax for the last two days of class, which will consist of cargo securement (I'm a flatbedder). Then I will proceed to Phase 2 training next week, which will entail sharing a truck with a driver trainer for about three weeks.

Roehl did an excellent job of preparing me to take the CDL test, and I am very happy with my choice.

Hope everyone is staying safe, and I will provide updates on my Phase 2 experience in a new thread.

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.
PackRat's Comment
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Congratulations!

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Tortuga 's Comment
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Good Job Verminator!! dancing-dog.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif

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