Roehl Driver Training From Start To End.....

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Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 11 of training: (Thursday)

Today is test eve. We started the same as the other days. I was up at 0500. Arrived on the truck range a before 0630. Did the pre trip and nailed it. I think I missed two points on the entire pre trip and in cab inspection. All in all, I am ready for the pre trip test tomorrow. Then we went driving. I was first. Let me say, I did pretty well today. I missed a few gears and made some mistakes but for the most part I was able to correct my mistakes quickly with no help. That is what is about. Tomorrow, I may get a point or two here or there. So what! As long as, I can complete the driving part with less than 30 points, I pass.

After lunch, same thing. We did pre trip. Bill did it after lunch and he did very well as well. We are lucky to have Mike in the class with us. He got his full CDL already because of the military waiver. He has been gracious and given Bill and I extra turns driving and backing because he does not have to test. Not to mention, he drives a little better than us as well! So, we hit the backing range. Yesterday I nailed the off set back. Today, first try, I was way over thinking and over corrected. I ended up with 3 points. Then the 90 degree, I flubbed a bit with 3 points. The straight line 0 points. All in all, I still would have passed with with less than 12 points. My confidence was a little messed up though. The second time I NAILED the 90 degree back with one pull up but totally hosed the off-set. That really messed with my confidence. Bill went his third time and did great. Mike gave me his third time because we were short on time. I truly appreciated him doing this. It is his time so I don't expect him to give it to me. Well, I settled down, I got set up for the offset and flubbed it a bit. I took a deep breathe, got out and looked, then I did a third pull up that cost me a point and put that trailer in the hole. Then, I did the 90 with one pull up and no points. So, at the end, if it was test time, I would have had 1 point on backing. You can miss up to 12.

It is like I said today, I know I will not be perfect. (I always want to be.) I have to not let my nature of wanting to be perfect cause me to get upset with a mistake and let that mistake snowball into multiple mistakes. I told, Kevin (our instructor), that I could probably do these exercises a 100 times and still think, I could use a little more practice.

You know what the call a guy or girl that gets a 80% on his or her CDL test? A truck driver! Know what the call the one that gets a 100% on the CDL - A? A truck driver! All in all, I think I am ready. This is a fast paced course for sure. I think if I had one more week, I would have super confidence. I don't have an extra week but I am still pretty confident that I will pass tomorrow.

I have been eating stuff out of a crock pot and sandwiches while living out of the hotel for school. It really saves a lot of money not eating out a lot. I am also learning how to make stuff in a crock pot so I can do that on the road. One word of advise, don't try broccoli in the crock pot. To my surprise, when I came back from class one day, I had stunk up the entire hotel hall. Tonight, I am going to relax. I am going to finish typing this. Head down to the restaurant in the hotel. Have a nice meal. Hit the hot tub. Then watch some T.V. Get a good night sleep. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to report that I now have a full CDL!

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.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Rockin' Rick's Comment
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Go get 'em, WT!

Will you operate out of Ellenwood or Gary?

Rockin' Rick's Comment
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Go get 'em, WT!

Will you operate out of Ellenwood or Gary?

Wine Taster's Comment
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I will probably be out of Ellenwood. Not sure though. It is rumored that they may be closing Ellenwood or moving it. hat is just hearsay so I am not sure!

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 12 of training: (Friday)

Today was different. It was CDL test day. We were instructed to be at the classroom at 0630. I was very worried last night about being able to sleep before the big test. When I got out of class, I went to the restaurant in the hotel and had a nice hot meal. I went back to my room and took a hot shower and relaxed. I watched some TV. My head was still running all the turns and shifting and signs and everything else. So, I turned off the heat. I opened the window and let the cold air in. I took the covers off the second bed in the room and stacked them on the bed I was using. I had read somewhere that heavy covers help calm you and help you sleep. 30 minutes later, I was fast asleep. That was around 2130. I awoke around 0230 with things running in my mind again. I took a leak and laid back down and started counting backwards from 100. The second time through the countdown I feel back asleep. I did not wake up again until around 0430 because of a screaming baby in the room down the hall. I had to be up at 0500 anyway. All in all I slept pretty well.

We arrived in class and we had some paperwork to fill out for the test. We were given instructions on the order we would go. Each of us did a pre trip inspection. I was the last to go because I was the first to drive.

The pre trip inspection went pretty well. The tester said to do the front of the truck to the drivers door. Then he said if there are any differences on the other side of the truck to note them. I was a little confused because I had to do the engine compartment and the there are a lot of differences on the other side of the truck. What it came down to was a full engine compartment inspection. I did very well. The only thing I missed was the water pump but I actually said it. The tester said I did not touch it. Ol well. The other point I lost was for not saying the U bolts that hold the springs. My instructor, Kevin, had not told us that and was surprised I got dinged on it. Then every person is required to perform an inspection of the fifth wheel. That went well as well. I lost one point for not saying trailer apron. Anyway, I did the in cab inspection. I got a little confused when I did the brakes. I made a mistake and as soon as I realized it, I said I missed a step and need to restart the brake test. The tester said OK. I restarted the truck, let the air pressure rebuild, and then I completed all the test correctly. I lost a point for not saying the fire extinguisher was fully charged and securely mounted. Agan, Kevin was surprised and said that only used to require us to state it was there. I missed a couple of other things but for the life of me can not remember what they were. I did well overall. Out of a total of 46 possible points that were available, I got 41. You had to have 37 to pass and move on to the next step.

Next was backing. The tester gives you instructions before each backing test. First up, straight line back. You have one get out and look and one pull up that did not cost you points. I did not need either and scored zero points. (Zero is best!) Next, was the off set back. The tester read the instructions and then got back out to watch. I got setup and was heading right. Then I made a huge over correction and it got me all messed up. I pulled up and tired to reset. We got two free pull ups and 2 get out and looks on this. I was still all goofed up after backing some. I pulled up again and was just not doing something correct to get my truck positioned. It was really starting to get me frustrated and flustered. I was shaking my head and cussing under my breath. I stopped the truck. I applied the breaks. I took a deep breathe. I sat there for three or four minutes. The tester was looking at me like "Well?" So, I got out after I had got my head straight. I stood at the back of the truck for a couple of more minutes and thought about what I needed to do. Then I got back in and pulled up. I backed up and realized I was still just a bit tight on the driver side. Instead of risk it, I took a 4th pull up. Then I backed that truck down the hole, set the breaks, and tooted to horn to signal that I was done. I got 2 points for the extra pull ups. The tester got back in and explained the 90 degree alley dock instructions. He got out again to watch me do it. I positioned my truck and almost rolled her in with no pull ups. I was really tight on the driver side. You get two free pull ups and 2 free get out and looks. So, I got out and looked and said yeap I am in there. I pulled up just to get the truck straight and backed it in the hole. When I stopped, I got out and looked again just to make sure my ICC bumper was between the cones. I was in there perfect. I looked at the tester and said, "Toot! Toot!" to signify me blowing the horn. He said, "Greta job. You passed backing with 2 points." You can pass backing with no more than 12 points. I did it with 2. Feeling pretty good.

We got in the truck and headed out for the road test. It was going very well. I was shifting pretty good. I still had a couple of grinds and missed gears but over all pretty good. The turns I was making perfect. I lost one point on a turn because he said I allowed a little to much room from the curb. No biggie. I lost three points for lugging the engine and missed shifts. Continued on next post.....

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

Wine Taster's Comment
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Day 12 training continued.....

Then I glitched out. Two huge yellow signs that I had just read that stated the expressway was about to end. I have passed those signs 50 times in the past week. The tester asked what sign did you just pass? I drew a blank. DUH! That was another point. Still, I was doing well. Nothing too bad had happened. He asked me to do an emergency stop. I got dinged a point. After completing the stop when I pulled back out into traffic, I signaled my left turn signal,checked my left mirror, and then put my hazards on until I got up to speed. The tester said I got a point because I did not check the right side mirror. Really? Ol well. So, here is where it got sketchy. I was going through a downtown area. This is an area the instructors were not allowed to take us but the tester is. Lots of intersections. The tester said, "When it is safe and legal to do so, make a lane change to the left and then one back to the right." I did the left. Then a car shoots out from a side street as I am making the change to the left. They come flying past my right side. They cut me off inches from my bumper and then turn on their left turn signal and slam on the breaks. I almost had to lock my breaks to stop on time. The tester was like, "Wow what an idiot!" They turned and I went to go. Well, guess what? I forgot to flip my switch back down to low gear. Thinking I was in third gear, I was really in 6th. The truck stalled. #%^%$%.... I quickly got the truck started and rolling down the road. I was so scared. Kevin had told us yesterday if we stalled the truck, it was an automatic fail. The last 15 minutes of my test and some jackass cutting me off is going to cause me to fail. The tester can not say anything while the test is going on. I settled down and did the rest of the test fine. I knew I had already failed so I was pretty relaxed. We got back to the yard. The tester sat in the seat after I parked and wrote on the form. It seemed like it was 4 hours sitting there. It was really like 4 minutes. Then he said, "Very nice job. You demonstrated that you can operate this vehicle safely." I said, " I passed?" He said, "You did great." He said that the stall is not an automatic fail. PHEW! He went over where I lost points. We could miss up 30 points and still pass. I only got 8.

The big test is complete! Not only did I pass but I did with the best score in the class. No more stress because the hard part is out of the way. Sadly, two guys in out class did not pass. I was feeling so bad for them. It was hard to be happy in front of them so I tried hard to not mention passing. So, after all the doubts and fear and apprehension, it is done. I made it. It is real now.... I am on the way to being a true american trucker!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rockin' Rick's Comment
member avatar

Day 12 training continued.....

Then I glitched out. Two huge yellow signs that I had just read that stated the expressway was about to end. I have passed those signs 50 times in the past week. The tester asked what sign did you just pass? I drew a blank. DUH! That was another point. Still, I was doing well. Nothing too bad had happened. He asked me to do an emergency stop. I got dinged a point. After completing the stop when I pulled back out into traffic, I signaled my left turn signal,checked my left mirror, and then put my hazards on until I got up to speed. The tester said I got a point because I did not check the right side mirror. Really? Ol well. So, here is where it got sketchy. I was going through a downtown area. This is an area the instructors were not allowed to take us but the tester is. Lots of intersections. The tester said, "When it is safe and legal to do so, make a lane change to the left and then one back to the right." I did the left. Then a car shoots out from a side street as I am making the change to the left. They come flying past my right side. They cut me off inches from my bumper and then turn on their left turn signal and slam on the breaks. I almost had to lock my breaks to stop on time. The tester was like, "Wow what an idiot!" They turned and I went to go. Well, guess what? I forgot to flip my switch back down to low gear. Thinking I was in third gear, I was really in 6th. The truck stalled. #%^%$%.... I quickly got the truck started and rolling down the road. I was so scared. Kevin had told us yesterday if we stalled the truck, it was an automatic fail. The last 15 minutes of my test and some jackass cutting me off is going to cause me to fail. The tester can not say anything while the test is going on. I settled down and did the rest of the test fine. I knew I had already failed so I was pretty relaxed. We got back to the yard. The tester sat in the seat after I parked and wrote on the form. It seemed like it was 4 hours sitting there. It was really like 4 minutes. Then he said, "Very nice job. You demonstrated that you can operate this vehicle safely." I said, " I passed?" He said, "You did great." He said that the stall is not an automatic fail. PHEW! He went over where I lost points. We could miss up 30 points and still pass. I only got 8.

The big test is complete! Not only did I pass but I did with the best score in the class. No more stress because the hard part is out of the way. Sadly, two guys in out class did not pass. I was feeling so bad for them. It was hard to be happy in front of them so I tried hard to not mention passing. So, after all the doubts and fear and apprehension, it is done. I made it. It is real now.... I am on the way to being a true american trucker!

Congrats, WT!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
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Congrats my friend....1 hurdle down....See you worried about nothing lol......

Wine Taster's Comment
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Yeap.... you are correct PJ! Glad it is done. Thanks so much for the help and encouragement you have given me.

Ken C.'s Comment
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Congrat's that's got to be a Great Feeling to know you have the Hard Part out of the way....!

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